If you’re looking for a memorable destination to wile away your vacation days, perhaps Gary can point you in the right direction. This feline travel influencer has one of the web’s most enviable Instagram accounts filled with images of Gary on kayaks in pristine waters, romping through the snow surrounded by soaring mountain peaks, and photos of Gary and his friends in gorgeous natural environments. While many social media influencers fill their feeds with quirky or playful selfies, there are no selfies on Gary’s feed. That’s because Gary is a cat.
Specifically, Gary is a five-year-old rescued domestic long-haired “meowtain lion” who was adopted from the Calgary Humane Society and now lives and hikes in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. While most cats are content to stay indoors and look for warm laps and fishy treats, Gary enjoys the great outdoors. “Gary’s a pretty chill cat for sure,” said Gary’s human companion, James Eastham, who shares their adventures on Instagram at Great Grams of Gary.
Gary’s outdoor adventures started when he tried to make a break for the great outdoors from his nice indoor life. “We decided that if he wanted to be outside that he would have to learn to walk on a leash,” Eastham said. “Shortly after we moved to the mountains and continued training him to walk outside. We started with small outings into our yard, and went farther and for longer as he got more confident outside. Now we’ve worked our way up to him being comfortable on overnight trips, paddling and this winter, even some very mellow skiing!” While Gary’s chill personality may make him a natural for nature walks, Eastham believes that “with some patience most cats can be trained to be outside.” He does recommend that “free roaming cats” be kept on a leash to prevent injury to the cat or to the local bird and small mammal populations.
In his Instagram feed, Gary can be seen exploring snowy peaks in a warm ski jacket, wearing sweet goggles while sitting on an iced over lake, happily walking on a leash on his outdoor adventures, or posing for pictures with his canine friends. “Adventuring does seem to have been good for him,” says Eastham. “He used to be pretty timid and he’s gotten much more confident around new people since we’ve been going out together. He’s even gotten a bit friendlier, though he’s still not exactly what I’d call cuddly.”
Even the most cursory perusal of Gary’s Instagram feed will prove that the cat is an inspiration to anyone who thinks they aren’t interested in venturing into the wild. After all, if a cat can wear goggles while walking on an icy lake, so can you. And don’t worry, Gary’s fame hasn’t gone to his head. “Gary hasn’t really changed that much,” says Eastham. “He’s still a cat and mostly only is concerned about having a full bowl of food, and enough treats in a day.” Gary, it seems, is a very relatable Instagram influencer.