Cats are excellent climbers, but one feline with the name of Lalah has elevated her abilities significantly.
Lalah, a rock climber who was discovered as a kitten evading traffic in front of Boulbaka 2 in Okinawa, Japan, has been able to hone her skills since an early age.
“I decided to shelter her in the gym,” Mitsuru Goan, the gym’s owner, told The Dodo. “Since then, she has been a manager of our facility, saying ‘Meow!’ to visitors every day.”
As a kitten, Lalah would jump on the shelves and climb up a rope that hung from the ceiling. Goan brushed it off as normal cat behavior until she also started climbing up stepladders to reach the rock wall.
Goan said, “She gained the courage to attempt. Then, in an effort to climb higher, she began to touch the bouldering grips on the wall.
Lalah imitated the climbers around her as she observed them on the wall. She was also able to grasp more and more handholds as she increased in size. Although she never received rewards for scaling the rock face, the small crowds that had come to observe her seemed to be sufficient motivation for her.
Lalah eventually reached the very top one day.
The gym regularly changes the arrangements of rocks on the wall, and when they altered Lalah’s wall, she lost interest.
Lalah now prefers to spend her days resting and basking in the attention of the gym-goers. “She loves to slip in visitors’ bags and sleep there,” Goan said. “You need to pay attention not to bring her home with you.”
But every now and then, Goan catches Lalah staring at the wall, as if she’s plotting something.
“She still climbs up the rope up to the ceiling, about 16 feet high, to have a workout,” Goan said. “Maybe she is ready for a new challenge.”