Several of my hiking friends are bringing their dogs on their Appalachian Trail thru-hikes. Dogs are allowed everywhere on the trail except for sections in Baxter State Park, Bear Mountain State Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I am *so jealous* and wish that my cat would reconsider hiking with me.
I don’t think this is going to work…
Remarkably, there are a few folks who have hiked large sections of the trail with cats. I am not the only crazy one! But, unless you have a really smart cat, there are too many risks. Between us, my cat is a sissy. She is afraid of spiders and flies that manage to get into our high-rise apartment. She is not a trail cat at all and would hide from a mouse. Doodle is staying here, in Chicago.
Don’t be surprised if you see me chasing stray trail cats with catnip yelling: “Come back! Wanna hike to Maine?”
Here is a story about a far more adventurous cat:
Sir, The AT Cat
“When 23-year-old former Marine “Magic Mix” began hiking the trail in Georgia, the only thing on his mind was to complete hiking the entire trail. But after a few days by himself, he got lonely, so he got off the trail and went on Craigslist, where he found a silky black kitten he named Sir. He stayed in town an extra day to get Sir checked out by a veterinarian.
By the time Sir and Magic Mix reached the end of the trail in New Hampshire, they had developed a strong bond. Sir spent most of his time sitting on his backpack cushion; when he wanted to get down, he nudged Magic Mix with his nose or a paw. They carried some dry food for Sir, but mostly he caught his own — mice and beetles at campsites.”
Read Magic Mix and Sir’s full story here: http://greatkids.outdoors.org/2011/09/sir-at-cat.html