The 7-Year-Old Cat Who Rides Chairlifts, Skis Greens: ‘Gary the Cat’ Heads to Calgary

This 7-year-old domestic longhair rescue not only loves to get outside and hike and swim (already strange pastimes for a cat), but he even skis, too.

This is quite possibly the content we all need right now: a heart-warming, feel-good story about a cat who skis (with his owner, of course).

Years ago, Gary’s owner, James Eastham, began to notice Gary’s adventurous spirit, and started bringing him along on his outdoor adventures along with his other pets (dogs). And of course, when you have a cat that hikes, swims, sleds, canoes, mountaineers, and skis, you’ve gotta post one up for the ‘gram. Now, Gary the Cat has a healthy following of 434K people worldwide.


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Here’s a quick intro as to how skiing with Gary works, according to Gary’s owner:

  • Step 1: Getting Gary used to riding on his shoulders, and general adventures outside
  • Step 2: Be a strong skier before taking Gary onto the slopes. Also, ski slowly and stick to easy runs to further reduce any risk.
  • Step 3: Introduce Gary to skiing slowly to let him experience it for the first time in a controlled setting.
  • Step 4: Get permission to bring Gary to the resort, and avoid crowded and peak times. (If you’ve got a cat that wants to ski, it’ll need a “pass” to the resort, just like us humans.)

When he’s not meowtaineering or cat skiing (literally!), you can find Gary the Cat close to home, riding the chairlift and cruising groomers at Nakiska Ski Resort in Calgary, Alberta.

Even more impressive, Gary is a rescue cat, and is actually missing a hip. “I think it’s great that even disabled kitties can still have great lives,” said Eastham.

Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.

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