COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — On any given weekend at Red Rock Canyon Open Space, you’ll find bikers, hikers, wildlife and, of course, man's best friend.
But for one Colorado Springs family, man's best friend — or in this case, woman's best friend — is a house cat. That Cat Pluto, to be exact.
It started as a favor for Satya Wimbish's sister: helping a cat find a new, more suitable home.
“He was supposed to go to a shelter because he was a wild child," Wimbish said. "When I took him home, it was super late at night, and so we didn't end up going to the shelter.”
Instead, he fit right in at Wimbish's home. And she soon realized Pluto really loved the great outdoors.
“I started taking him outside because he was just wanting to get out the house,” Wimbish said.
It started with baby steps, like the apartment balcony and nearby parks. Eventually, he started joining her and the kids, Eva and Flourish, on hiking adventures.
“It's our family time together," Wimbish said. "It's something that we all love. We all love being outdoors."
The family's adventures have taken them all over the state, from right in their backyard exploring Red Rock Canyon Open Space or Garden of the Gods, to surfing at Great Sand Dunes National Park and kayaking in Twin Lakes.
The family and their red wagon are hard to miss, especially with their unexpected black and white furry friend in tow, and it's usually a surprise for anyone they encounter along the way.
“They're like, 'Oh the kids,’ and then Pluto will poke his head out of the wagon if it's not really out, they’re like, ‘Is that a cat? Is that a cat? That’s not a cat.’ So, there's a lot of disbelief that there is really a cat,” Wimbish said.
But it's more than just taking fun adventures for the family, especially during a global pandemic — it's a chance to experience nature, let out energy and make lifelong memories.
"I just say mental and emotional health, like we've all been through a lot," Wimbish said. "I'm trying to make sure that they all have a good quality of life and do the best I can with each of them to be able to live it to the fullest.”
Wimbish has been documenting their fun on her social media page, That Cat Pluto, for two years. Her shared posts on Discover Colorado | Through Your Photos are always a hit.
Wimbish is even in the process of making a children’s book. She posted a poll for her page followers to vote on where the story will take place, and St. Elmo was the winning location. Wimbish is in the process of making a storyboard, and the kids will get to do some acting as she snaps photos to be turned into graphics.
And the adventures are far from over. The family has a bucket list of places to explore, like Royal Gorge and Buena Vista for family friendly rafting, and the whole family is all-in on making it happen. If they've gone too long without taking a hike, Eva, Flourish and Pluto all make it known they're ready to get out and explore.
“They stand together at the door like they were trapped and they never been out," Wimbish said with a laugh. "It's nerve racking sometimes because two toddlers and a cat, but usually when I get home I'm like, I'm glad we did that just knowing how happy they were."