Tali is a clicker trained kitty who loves exploring and is showing her sister the ropes of catexploring.
We asked her dad, Colt, to tell us all about her.
Tell us the story about how Tali came into your family.
Tali is a rescue cat from a local no-kill shelter in Denver called Cat Care Society.
We knew Tali was the cat for us when we sat on the floor and she came and took a nap on our laps.
We fell in love with her beautiful coloring and friendly personality.
Tell us the story behind Tali’s name.
All of our pets are named after anime or video game characters.
Tali's name comes from the video game Mass Effect. She is named after the character Tali'Zorah.
What is Tali’s favourite thing to do?
Tali loves being outside and rolling around in the dirt. She loves chasing bugs and birds.
Tali loves laying on her back and showing off her belly. She loves cuddling with her little kitty sister Zukimi as well as her three older siblings who are rabbits. Tali loves riding around on my shoulders.
What kind of catexploring does Tali do?
Tali loves going on short hikes from about 1 to 4 miles.
She has had some amazing experiences on the trail. Tali has climbed mountains, hiked through snow and seen spectacular waterfalls in Colorado.
Now she is teaching her younger sister Zukimi how to be a catexplorer.
Tell us about your most memorable adventure.
Every adventure with Tali is a memorable adventure.
Tali has been to Eldorado falls in Boulder Colorado. This trail was one of Tali's favorites because she loves rock climbing. The trail had lots of big boulders that she could climb and hop from one to the other. I don't think Tali ever touched the dirt. She just jumped from rock to rock all the way to the falls and back. Four miles later she was still rock climbing.
It was fun to see Tali having such a great time!
Why did you decide to train Tali to explore with you?
I wanted to experience training an animal. I love being able to communicate so clearly with an animal.
We live in a small apartment so to give Tali some exercise and so that she could experience the outdoors we decided to start walking Tali on a leash and taking her on walks. When we go hiking with Tali it is really for her sake.
We want a healthy kitty without the risk of her being an outdoor cat.
How did you train Tali to explore with you?
Tali is clicker trained. This means she associates a click sound with positive reinforcement like a treat.
Tali can actually do lots of tricks like sit, stand, and roll over. She also knows her name and comes when called!
When walking we use a tension and release method similar to horse training techniques. This means when Tali is going the wrong way down the trail we add tension to her leash and then when she goes the correct way we release the tension and then give her a click and a treat.
Now Tali is a beast on the trail and always knows where to go!
What has been the most rewarding part of having a cat that explores the world with you?
I love communicating with Tali. We are always talking to each other especially on the trail. We know what each other is thinking.
I love hiking and exploring Colorado and having Tali along for the ride always makes for a richer experience.
I love having someone to share my adventures with.
What has been the hardest?
The hardest is worrying about Tali's safety.
She hates dogs and people love coming up and saying hello to Tali even if they have a dog with them. Luckily Tali is a great shoulder cat so she will jump on my shoulder if there are dogs nearby. Then I always get paranoid about birds of prey swooping down and snatching her! Tali is pretty big now at 13 lbs. So I'm not as worried as I used to be. Tali is a fighter and would be quite the challenge for a hawk.
In hindsight, what would you do differently?
I started taking Tali on adventures before I had a backpack carrier for her. It would be a lot easier with a carrier for when your cat gets tired or is walking to slow for you.
What advice would you give other humans training their cats to explore with them?
Baby steps, be patient. They are not like hiking with dogs but just as fun when they get good at it.
What are your favourite products for Tali?