Rescue Cat becomes an online hit after turning to the adventure life of skiing and paddleboarding with active owners


A rescue cat has become a social media star after turning to a life of adventure – skiing, hiking and paddle boarding while wearing mini goggles and jackets with her active owners.

Erin Geldermans, 32, and Daniel “Dan” Schreck, 37, adopted their cat Liebchen in September 2020 and immediately began taking their kitten everywhere on a leash and in their backpack.

After hiking, boating and paddleboarding, and bars and restaurants in their hometown of Aspen, Colorado, Liebchen became a social media sensation with nearly 180,000 followers on Instagram.

Erin and Dan took Liebchen on her first hike at 10 weeks (Collect/PA Real Life)

Erin and Dan took Liebchen on her first hike at 10 weeks (Collect/PA Real Life)

Erin, who is finishing graduate school to work in trauma and addiction recovery therapy, even put protective gear on Liebchen for their shared adventures, like pet ski goggles to protect the cat’s eyes on snowy trips with his partner Dan, who works in the outdoor industry.

In the future, the couple hope to take their beloved pet on overseas trips and maybe even by helicopter.

Their adventurous life together began when the couple adopted Liebchen at nine weeks old in September 2020.

Erin and Dan want to take Liebchen to see the ocean in the future (Collect/PA Real Life)

Erin and Dan want to take Liebchen to see the ocean in the future (Collect/PA Real Life)

Erin and Dan immediately began leash training their kitten.

“I saw a lot of cool adventure cats on the internet, so I wanted to try Liebchen too,” Erin recalls.

“He’s always wanted to go out but where we live in the mountains of Colorado there are a lot of predators like mountain lions, bobcats, bears and coyotes so he can’t go out on his own.”

Liebchen is unfazed by the water and paddles with a small life jacket (Collect/PA Real Life)

Liebchen is unfazed by the water and paddles with a small life jacket (Collect/PA Real Life)

She added: “He was only two pounds when we got him so the harness barely fit him, but we just took him everywhere.

“We would take him on hikes and road trips, to bars and restaurants. Aspen is very pet friendly, so they were like “oh my god, let him in”.

“We just started socializing him, walking with him and taking him literally everywhere right away at 10 weeks old.”

Liebchen loves to sit on her mother's shoulder (Collect/PA Real Life)

Liebchen loves to sit on her mother’s shoulder (Collect/PA Real Life)

Living in the perfect place to go on an adventure in nature, Erin and Dan, who have been together for more than three years, have taken Liebchen hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, camping, biking and paddleboarding.

Liebchen even accompanied the couple on visits to their families by plane in Michigan as well as on road trips to some of the many national parks in the United States.

Erin said, “Liebchen’s favorite thing is just exploring our neighborhood. He loves smelling things, meeting dogs and exploring the woods on hikes.

Liebchen even has her own little tent (Collect/PA Real Life)

Liebchen even has her own little tent (Collect/PA Real Life)

The couple’s four-legged friend is equipped with plenty of equipment for their various adventures to enjoy everything safely.

She said: “We always have a harness and leash on him to be safe, but we also have goggles to protect his eyes from snow blindness.

“You get sunburned very easily where we live and you even burn your eyes. We knew we needed some kind of protection for him and our friends had these dog goggles so we got some for Liebchen.

Liebchen wears goggles to protect her eyes (Collect/PA Real Life)

Liebchen wears goggles to protect her eyes (Collect/PA Real Life)

She added, “They didn’t care from the start and while we really got them for her protection, they look really cute too.”

Their “super cool” cat, who also has cute jackets and blankets to keep him warm in the cold Colorado winters, also loves all things water and frequently joins the couple in the shower, bath or during paddle and boat outings.

“We don’t have an explanation for why he likes the water. He’s very sticky, but the first time he got in the shower with us, we were really surprised. It even swims around us when we swim in a lake,” she said.

Liebchen even joins Dan in the shower (Collect/PA Real Life)

Liebchen even joins Dan in the shower (Collect/PA Real Life)

For their ski trips, Dan or Erin have Liebchen under their coats or in Liebchen’s designated backpack.

They are very cautious and make sure their fluffy companion is safe.

Erin said: “He likes to climb on our shoulder, but it can get a bit dangerous. I mean it’s not entirely safe to ski with a cat anyway, but we’ve both skied forever and we don’t tie him down or anything, so if anything were to happen , he can run away.

Liebchen sits in his backpack when his parents are skiing (Collect/PA Real Life)

Liebchen sits in his backpack when his parents are skiing (Collect/PA Real Life)

Erin, Dan and Liebchen are not only inseparable in their adventures together, but also in their home of Aspen.

“He always wants to know what we are doing. He is very vocal and always talks to us and when people pass he greets everyone at the door,” Erin said.

For their future adventures, the couple plans to take their furry friend scuba diving, or at least to the beach.

Liebchen on a hike with Dan (Collect/PA Real Life)

Liebchen on a hike with Dan (Collect/PA Real Life)

Erin said: “We would love to take him to the beach and try surfing with him. We think it would be so much fun.

“He’s never really seen the ocean, so it’s on our to-do list. We’ll finally be able to travel with him internationally soon, now that things are opening up more and more with the Covid .

“We really want to take him to the Netherlands Antilles because they have very loose rules about when cats come in. We both go diving and maybe he can come. The scuba diving itself is something he can never do – he would hate it – but it would be fun to take him on the boat with us.

Liebchen joined Erin and Dan on several flights to visit their families (Collect/PA Real Life)

Liebchen joined Erin and Dan on several flights to visit their families (Collect/PA Real Life)

She added: “We would also like to take it by helicopter, for example to do heli-skiing where they take you by helicopter to the top of the mountain and you ski down.

“We are really excited to have many more adventures with him.”

Since Liebchen joined Erin and Dan’s two-bedroom home in Aspen just over two years ago, he’s become an important part of their lives.

Liebchen is still with Erin and Dan (Collect/PA Real Life)

Liebchen is still with Erin and Dan (Collect/PA Real Life)

Erin said: “Dan and I were really interested in getting a cat and we knew we wanted to save one.

“One day my friend messaged me on Facebook from a local animal shelter and she said, look at this little orange fluffy baby.

“I knew I needed this cat. Something felt so good about her picture.

Liebchen on a road trip with his parents (Collect/PA Real Life)

Liebchen on a road trip with his parents (Collect/PA Real Life)

She added: “He was so cute and fluffy. I actually didn’t tell Dan we were going to meet him and it was kind of a surprise.

“Liebchen was in the creative corner, hissing at the other kittens, having an attitude, but he approached Dan.

“So Dan held him first and we fell in love instantly. We took him home and it was amazing straight away – he slept with us the first night, snuggled right between us. It was so sweet, he’s just our little best friend and we’re inseparable.

Erin and Dan are looking forward to more adventures with their ‘sweetheart’ (Collect/PA Real Life)

Liebchen’s name is in honor of Erin’s mother’s cat that she had when she was the same age as Erin.

Erin said: “Liebchen means Sweetheart in German and although it’s more of a feminine name, it suits her very well.

“He is so soft and cuddly. It is definitely the coolest cat. He is really outgoing and likes to meet people, he loves dogs and children.

Liebchen never leaves the couple, even when camping (Collect/PA Real Life)

Liebchen never leaves the couple, even when camping (Collect/PA Real Life)

She added: “He’s such a little darling and I feel like calling him that.”

To follow Liebchen’s adventures, visit his Instagram