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Extreme Kitties

Her feline friend goes backpacking and camping.

I had a major case of the “Awwwwwwww”s when I popped open an email the other day and saw pics—of a kitty! Going backpacking with her owners! Awwwwwwww!

I loved the way she drapes across their shoulders as they walk, as if to say, “I am a bold outdoor adventurer…but I leaves the hiking to the humans.” So cute. So cool! (See the photos further down in the blog).

I can’t imagine taking my cats backpacking. Harley would wander off chasing butterflies and we’d spend our entire trip searching for him, and with Catillac we’d have to stop every 20 seconds for a treat and a tummy rub. Pearl’s idea of extreme adventure involves a windowsill.

Come to think of it, Pearl is actually a seasoned outdoorskitty, if you count her camping trip. My husband and I found Pearl abandoned when she was only two weeks old. At five weeks old, it was time for our Memorial Day campout at Tippecanoe River State Park. With a vigorous schedule of feeding and burping every four hours, a sitter was out of the question.

The first night, it was quite chilly in the tent. With no electricity to run the heating pad we kept in Pearl’s carrier, I snuggled her against my chest. “Is she warm enough?” Bob asked.

“I think so,” I said. “It’s almost time to feed her again….”

We dozed on and off through the night, waking to check on (and feed) our little furball.

The next morning, our camp “neighbors” dropped by. “We heard you talking last night,” they explained. “We came to see your baby!” Imagine their surprise.

Soon word spread about the kitten in the camp, and Pearl was showered with “awwwwwws” and cautious petting. Kids crowded around to watch, wide-eyed, as we bottle-fed Pearl with formula heated over the open fire.

Even so young—and still so unstable on her little legs—Pearl moved fast. (Kind of like a toddler!) My Harley’s the same way; turn your back for a minute and he’s gone. That urge to explore is such a vital part of cats’ nature—which makes this couple’s backpacking kitty that much more amazing.

—Allison Ruffing



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