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Hades has an amazing bond with his mom, and travels to the most amazing places in the US. His aim is to see all the US National & State Parks.
We asked his mom, Sue to tell us about him.
How did Hades come into your family?
A client from my lawfirm has gone home to North Dakota because she had some troubles in Las Vegas. Her mother feeds cats in the wilderness near their home.
In this wilderness, a mama kitty had a litter, of which only two kittens survived. The rest were eaten by coyotes or other predators.
The client had to return to Las Vegas for an upcoming court date and she brought the two surviving kittens with her on a two day greyhound bus ride.
They were dehydrated and looked sickly from the long ride.
I was out of town on a business trip when they came so the kittens initially stayed with my sister.
One kitten had tiger stripes and the other was mostly black with white paws. My sister and I both wanted the black kitten, but when I saw the kittens, the tiger one was feisty and was beating up his brother, he was also indifferent and a bit pretentious even though he was smaller than his brother.
I knew then he was perfect for me.
Due to his dark, strong personality, I named him Hades.
What is the story behind your Hade’s name?
I studied Greek mythology in college and have been to Greece several times.
Hades was one of the most misunderstood Gods of mythology. He was thought to cause death and hell.
Hades was not death or hell. He was the God of the underworld.
It's also been said that many souls would negotiate their return back to Earth by offering their possessions to Hades.
So Hades for me is a guardian whom, I have to bribe sometimes.
What kind of exploring do you do with Hades?
We like road trips.
Living in Las Vegas has given us the opportunity to visit iconic places within just driving distance.
Lately we've gone to a lot of National Parks such as; Zion and Bryce canyon in Utah, Yosemite in California, The Grand Canyon and horse shoe bend in Arizona & Crater Lake in Oregon.
We've also visited several tourists spots such as: The San Francisco Bridge, The Las Vegas Strip, Hoover Dam, Shoshone Falls in Idaho where Evil Knievel did his jump, Route 66, driven the Pacific Coast Highway which was rich in history and scenery of stunning California beaches.
Why did you train Hades to explore with you?
I love to travel.
I grew up in a multicultural family so I've always had to visit someone in other parts of the world.
Since I was the youngest of the family, I was always the one who was willing to "just go" . As I grew older I realized I never wanted to leave the love of my life behind which was my cat, so I trained Hades to walk on a leash.
But even if he didn't walk on a leash I'd still take him with me because it would be unfair to leave him behind.
How do you explore with Hades?
We are avid hikers and road trippers.
I simply carry Hades from the house to the car, he sits beside me for the duration of the ride. He can roam freely in the car but aside from looking in the windows, he's not at all distractive when it comes to my driving.
When we're hiking, I put a harness and leash on him but if there's no one around the trail I let him off leash and he walks beside me or follow me. If he couldn't find me, he'd call out for me.
Where are your favourite places to go?
We love Red Rock Canyon here in Las Vegas because it's near by.
Plus it's such a big place that there's always somewhere quiet and remote we can hike in so Hades can roam freely.
We also like Lake Mead because we have a boat there, so we go sailing a lot.
How do you pick where to go with Hades?
I am fighting the stigma that cats should only be allowed in certain places.
I pick places I've never been before, places with the most beautiful scenery.
Scenic byways along the way and most of all its rich history.
I believed that if I feel that I know I'd enjoy such a magnificent view, then why not share it with someone I love.
So far, Hades has learned to walk beside me in these tourist and mostly crowded places, but most of the time I try to go during an off peak day or season to minimize the exposure for my cat.
How do you introduce Hades to a new situation/location?
Hades never had difficulties when it comes to new locations.
He's always curious so once the car stops and I open his door he puts his front paws on my shoulder to get ready. The only time he was a bit shock was when I first took him to Mount Charleston to see the snow. He wasn't used to the ground being so wet and slushee as we mostly hike in the desert or the beach.
Have you had a scary/difficult situation while exploring with Hades?
In November when we drove out to San Francisco, we've stopped at a few places on the way. One place was the Mono Lake in California where the Sierras and Mammoth lakes are. Mono lake has these amazing Limestone tower formations known as Tufa, which took thousands of years to form.
I had taken the leash off Hades since there was no one there. He disappeared for about ten minutes which felt like an eternity. It turned out he found a nice cozy tufa tower to sit in and enjoyed the tranquil scenery.
Although nowadays I still take the leash off him in remote places, I just follow him and he understands more when I yell out "hey don't go far!"
Have you come across an amazing cat friendly business/location that we should celebrate?
The Virgin Valley Heritage Museum in Mesquite Nevada, were such lovely hostesses.
I've stopped by Mesquite to and from our travels in Utah as it's along the way but I knew nothing about its history. I saw the museum and was curious but didn't want to leave my cat in the car due to heat.
So I brought Hades in and the ladies in the museum were accommodating. We walked around and learned so much about the early settlers and pioneers in the area.
Tell us about your most memorable adventure.
Either it's cliche or patriotic but going to the Grand Canyon with Hades was amazing.
Not because of its endless media exposure, but because of its magnificence, a piece of true Americana which is one of the natural wonders of the world.
And the trip to San Francisco. It was my birthday, I couldn't have imagined spending it any other way or anyone else but with Hades. The sights we saw along the way such as the Sierras, Mammoth Lakes and Yosemite was truly incredible. Then driving the Pacific Coast Highway back to Las Vegas is a patriotic bucket list. The beaches in all of their magnificence was breathtaking.
What a birthday it was! I think I'll make it into an annual birthday tradition.
What is Hade’s achievement that you are the proudest of?
I am proud of the fact that Hades can walk beside me even amongst a crowded state or national parks.
His main focus is being beside me, he is not distracted by so much foot traffic and the constant clicking of cameras.
What has been the most rewarding thing about exploring with Hades?
Being able to enjoy such amazing places together and these places won't be tainted with the memories of an old relationship gone sour.
They are simply places I've been with my cat.
What has been the hardest thing about exploring with Hades?
When we went to Horseshoe Bend in Arizona, there were so many tourists and they're really unavoidable because the trail was narrow to get to the site. Hades was walking and a Japanese guy from a tour bus picked him up to take a picture with him. I was so shocked and Hades wailed and fought thinking he was getting kidnapped. I panicked and took the cat from him and I said pointing to myself "mine! No tour, mine!" That was shocking and difficult since in all our adventures, I've never had anyone just picked Hades up.
Is there anything you would do differently with training Hades to explore with you?
No, I believe I did an ok job and things they I don't know, I learn along the way.
What is something you wish you could go back and tell yourself when you first started exploring with Hades?
"He likes to hide, always look in rock crevices or Tufa towers, otherwise you'd have a heart attack, thinking you've lost your cat!"
What advice would you give other humans who are training their cats to explore with them?
Trust... Always trust in yourself and your cat.
When Hades and I are exploring, my main concern is always his safety.
I've had to let him know that I am a safe place he can retreat to. For example, instead of him bolting away from me when he hears a very loud noise, he would sit between my feet or if we're on a picnic he'd sit between my legs.
I trust that he knows how to call out to me if he feels lost or threatened. Lately when we're hiking off leash he'd meow if he's using the bathroom, a sort of "wait up I gotta pee" signal. So I stop and wait then we keep going.
Always earn your cat's trust, it will make exploring a lot easier even when there are distractions, at least they'll know that with you, they will always be safe.
I let Hades roam without a leash when we're in remote places because I too have to trust that he loves me enough to come when he's called. Fortunately he does, he always comes when I say it's time to go home.
What are your favourite products for Hades?
I like the butterfly soft Velcro harnesses for him because it's not so evasive on him and very easy to put on.
Hades also feels safe in his small collapsible tent, easy to carry and fold when camping.
What do you wish people knew about cats?
That cats are explorers by nature, therefore, this instinct should be encouraged.
Cats are very resilient and intelligent, traits that would be very helpful when it comes to adventures.
They also learn quickly when it comes to routine. For example when I'm planning a long road trip with my cat, I always leave between 3-5am to watch the sunrise. When this occurs, Hades gets out of bed, waits for breakfast then he does his toilet. We then load up our car and he continues his sleep in the car. Though cats may be creatures of habits, their curiosity and need to be with you overcomes their daily routines.
Therefore, introducing new things is always possible as long as they feel you are their safe place.
Is there another catexplorer (humans or feline) who inspires you?
A lot of explorers on social media inspire me!
@MickJaggerTheRagdoll in their most recent van life
@Emmylou_Adventurecat with their beautiful waterfalls.
But I am patriotic, so my goal is to see all the US National and State Parks. This is the true inspiration, to appreciate our own backyard.
Follow Hades on Instagram (@hadeslivefromsincity)