We’ve been told before that we have an unusual cat, and I mean — sure, we have to agree — but Ly’s recent adventure took him to a whole new level of ‘unique.’

First a quick backstory on our kitten (and yes, I do say kitten because I’m too stubborn to believe he is five): Lysander is a rescue cat who has been extraordinary from the start. Pleading to go on car rides where he can stick his head out the window, bellowing in the door entryway for us to put on his harness for a walk around the city, and mewing in pride when he does his tricks (his many, many tricks) — these are just a few ways he is very dog-like, shall we say.

But that’s not what this post is on. This post is on Ly’s first hike in the Virginia mountains!

Okay, so know in advance when I say ‘hike,’ it wasn’t necessarily a legit hike. Admittedly, we drove to Farmville’s High Bridge — a historic wooden bridge that is the longest recreational bridge in Virginia and one of the longest in the country. It stands above the Appomattox River and provides a stunning view of the autumn leaves, which are exploding with color right now. There is a thirty-one mile trail leading up to the bridge . . . but we did not hike that, nor trek in walking boots over mountains. Instead, we wanted our kitten to feel brave and accomplished and so it was little steps (or little paws) at a time.

In the end, Ly did ask (and I do mean ask) to be picked up often for a better view of the area (the freeloader!), but most of all our son well-deserved the head turns as he strutted across the bridge with his tail high in the air. He’s pretty easy to read too so it was clear he enjoyed not only the bridge walk but also the romp he had in the leaves before, during our turn-around, and after the bridge adventure. Most of all though, I think he simply loved the praise and affection he got from us the entire time. (Ly, by the way, is motivated most of all by love.)

And one final thought: Because he did so well on this trek, a lift of hikes is blooming in my mind so hopefully this is the start to many more adventures with our dog-like cat who enjoys walking on a leash! Until then, new friends!

Thanks for reading!

New pandas L (and Andy) with Soul of a Seeker

(We have videos too if you are interested!)

More info: soulofaseeker.com

Starting our hike

Here we go! Ly’s first steps (well, his dad’s first steps) onto the High Bridge!

Off he goes!

With tail stick straight in the air, off our boy goes on his first hike!

People-watching

Our brave boy loves to people-watch . . .

Virginia’s High Bridge

Here is the insanely beautiful view of the Appomattox River from atop the bridge.

Virginia’s High Bridge

The bridge stands 125 feet above the Appomattox River.

My husband and our son

I (L) adopted Ly when he was about four months old and a few months later, I met Andy. From the very start, Andy adored Ly and Ly, Andy.

A bit of exploring

We tried to encourage Ly to sniff and walk and look everywhere he wanted so of course, he wanted to go to the highest point on the bridge!

Our fierce lion standing proud!

Love is so visible

Some cats are motivated by food. Ly has always been motivated by affection.

I feel Ly says, “I just can’t get close enough!”

Stopping occasionally to literally stick his nose through the chain-link guard, Ly gets a better look at the area . . .

Seeking praise

It’s all about positive reinforcement for cats but definitely for Ly . . .

Onward we go!

Sometimes the situation would become so grand, that Ly just wanted to be carried a few paces . . .

Ly: “I shall lead the way!”

Even though Ly was carried, he was undoubtedly the one in charge — seen here as he leans forward, pointing out the way!

Eager eyes

His vision was always set and, boy, was he ready!

Cheeky peek over the edge

We wondered if Ly would be scared of heights. Turns out, what he enjoyed least was when the wind ruffled his fur!

Our brave boy!

Caught in action

Ly wasn’t necessarily happy that I crouched down for this picture in the middle of his leaf-romping! How dare I distract him!

Time to head back

When we got about halfway over the bridge at the start, Ly was hellbent and determined to go back the way he came because he knew that way and had confidence in that direction. He was easily persuaded to continue but once we headed back, he jogged next to me for a large length of the bridge (and I’m not going to lie: We do sometimes go jogging together in the city…).

A kitten’s view

Whispered words of affection

On and off we would pick Ly up to cover him in kisses and praise him. Here we are at the end of the bridge so there was much praising to be done!

This is us

Andy, Ly, and me (L) — We are new to Bored Panda so thank you for entertaining us and our dog-like cat!