The Hungarian man visiting picturesque Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, had sprained his ankle during a roundabout hike through the surrounding mountains to nearby Gimmelwald. It was the end of the ski season in 2013 so the lifts weren't operating and some of the official trails were closed.
Unsure which way to go to get back to his hostel, he sat down to rest his foot, eat a snack, and consult the map when a friendly tuxedo cat appeared amid the patches of snow that still clung to the Alpine terrain.
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The handsome cat noticed him and started heading away but kept looking back, which the Hungarian took an indication to follow, he described in a recent post on Reddit. The cat led him straight to the path that would take him back down to the valley, reports LoveMeow.
The Hungarian, who goes by user Sc4s2cg on Reddit, captioned his photo of the helpful feline: "The cat that guided me down the mountain when I got lost in Gimmelwald, Switzerland."
Other Reddit users said they had seen the same cat. "That is Petra and Walt's cat. [They] run the Mountain Hostel," KwaiLoCDN wrote. A few people ventured that it might be called Tobias. Redditor Starspace1 was hiking nearby with a friend last May and apparently encountered the cat as well: "He would walk ahead of you, pause, and then strike a pose. I loved him!" An accompanying photo taken during Starspace1's hike from the Mountain Hostel to the river seems to match.
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For his part, the Hungarian hiker said he discovered the local trails were closed for a reason. "[I] had to cross by edging near the wall and jumping," he wrote on Reddit. "As soon I was on the other side a boulder rolled down where I just jumped from, before I finally got down the mountain and to a tiny town."
The fact that he encountered a Swiss tuxedo cat who just wanted to help out wasn't surprising to me. Especially the point in the story where they parted ways and the feline set off to pursue treats. Here's a closer look at the guide kitty: