Catting trips weren't developed intentionally, they sort of just happened. In the beginning, I took Millie on some climbing trips with me. It was stressful. Cats aren't like dogs you can't just let them roam, you have to watch them at all times, be sure they're safe. Some naturally hang out nearby (@zacdoesmath's Kenneth is amaing, he just chills nearby alays). Some roam widely though. Millie's a roamer. I have no doubt she would return to camp given enough time, but there are simply too many wild things that could off her, so I have to follow and keep her safe. When I was climbing I'd have to attach her to my bag and she'd meow a lot. Getting to the wall was slower because I go at her pace so as not to stress her out. It wasn't as easy as taking a dog to the crag. After a couple trips my friend Zac and I had the idea of going on a trip just to climb something easy with the cats, see what level they could climb at without our help. So we went bouldering in Moe's Valley and it was pretty stress-free and fun. We decided to try something a bit harder and did the route 1,000' of Fun in the southern San Rafael Swell. It's 4 200' pitches and goes at 5.6. They were able to climb the whole route cleanly except for one spot where they needed aid. We've tried some other routes in this manner. Then we decided to try some slot canyons. Slot canyons are not as technical as climbing and we always figured pretty easy to do and probably boring, but maybe be fun with cats. So we tried an easy one, then a more technical one, then harder and harder. It's a LOT of fun. Slow going, beautiful, challenging, some great days. But, also, stressful for us and the cats. They just want to roam, explore, chase lizards. They don't want to go through a canyon with water hazards and multiple rappels. So we're always sure to just let them roam the second day. Stress-free, no agenda, just wander the desert doing whatever they want to do for some time and we just follow to keep them safe.
So the flow of a catting trip naturally evolved ... an objective day one, let them roam and explore day two. Utah offers endless weekend objectives within range of Salt Lake so we've done many and still have a lot to go. Hence catting was born.
Ultimately to me pure catting is the second day. Following your kitty in nature to keep them safe, putting your human agenda away. Having no expectations or destination. You let the cat wander freely. Your job is to follow, protect, keep safe from harmful places and predators. Your reward is experiencing nature at a slower pace, from a different perspective, in a new light. Observe, protect, enjoy, and be led to new discoveries you likely would have missed otherwise..