Cat goes climbing in the Utah mountains
“Millie's an athlete, she trains hard"
Millie the cat is travelling the world and bringing her owner Craig Armstrong along for the ride.
She loves scrambling up mountains and bouldering in the depths of her native Utah and her owner has made her a harness so she can take on the trickier moves too.
The intrepid traveller was abandoned by her owners at just a few days old but thankfully she found her soulmate in climbing crazy Craig. She was moments from being put down as the sanctuary couldn’t afford to feed her, but he saved her when she climbed up and curled herself around his shoulders.
Nowadays Millie’s weekends are filled with overnight camping, walking and climbing landmarks in Utah, including Joe's Valley, Moe's Valley and the Ferguson Canyon.
Millie and Craig are definitely the adventurous ones in the family, Craig’s girlfriend and cat prefer to stay at home of a weekend while they’re out gallivanting.
Mr Armstrong, 37, said: “I just knew one day I would get a pet and when I did I would take it everywhere with me.
“Millie is perfect – she's a natural in the mountains. I make sure she is kept on the best quality cat food.
"She's an athlete, she trains hard, and diet is an important part of any athlete's complete routine.”
Millie harboured a dark secret though, she was afraid of being out in the open. Craig decided to help her get over it by walking with her on Stansbury Island – a vast expanse of hills with no vegetation.
She stopped being such a pussy and soon started to actually enjoy her trips out, getting high with Craig. The highest peak they’ve reached is 1000 feet on the 'Thousands of Fun' climb.
Craig attaches her to himself with a series of carabiners and ropes so she’s never in any danger.
Craig says: “I just start hiking in the morning and she'll run and follow me now. I do free climbing without ropes and then for the really high or steep ascents I harness her up.
“Cats are idiots sometimes and they will wander away and get lost if you're not careful. Sometimes she gets stuck on a ledge and I have to save her. There have been times when she's fallen and I've had to catch her but now she just loves climbing so much I can't stop her.
“She has all the qualities a good climbing partner should have. She never complains, no matter how bad it gets!
“She always wants to go higher, and she pushes herself hard but she also knows when to stop. When she's done, she's done. She'll find a cave or climb a tree and won't move until she's rested.
“And she cuddles me at night inside my sleeping bag and keeps me warm.”