Cats

Cyclist finds a stray cat on the street & decides to take her on a whirlwind trip around the world

July 21st, 2020

Avid bicyclist Dean Nicolson’s goal is to bike around the world. He intended to travel solo, soaking up the sights and roughing it when needed.

He expected to face rainy weather, blistering sun, sweltering heat and even exhaustion. What he didn’t expect is to stumble upon a stray kitten who would change his life and enhance his incredible journey.

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While in Bosnia, Dean was pedaling along when he caught the sounds of meowing. Doubting himself and what he was hearing, he slowed down to investigate.

He couldn’t believe what he found!

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It turned out that as the Scotland resident was cycling up a hill, she was meowing frantically and chasing after him.

“I pulled the bike over, jumped off and went over to the rocks and was like, ‘Oh there’s a scruffy wee kitten all alone.’ I sat with her for about half an hour, feeding her pesto before deciding to put her on the bike with me. She kept following me and it was unfair to leave her.”

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Even though pesto isn’t the perfect cat food, it was all Dean had at the time. Nala recognized him as her rescuer and the unlikely duo bonded instantly. Nala refused to leave his side.

“I thought, ‘I’d better take you with me’. Then when I put her on the bike and started cycling she jumped out the pouch on the front of my bike and up onto my shoulder. She then nuzzled into my neck and then I thought it was meant to be.”

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It’s the oddest place for a cat to perch while cruising along atop her owner on a bicycle, but it’s where Nala loves to ride. She can soak up all the sights and smells while being as close as possible to her best friend.

As she grew bigger, Dean nestled her in a basket attached to the front of his bike. To help keep her safe, she wears a harness that secures her snuggly.

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Dean decided to share their adventures and photos of his awesome copilot on social media. Their Instagram account has hundreds of thousands of followers who adore seeing snippets of the feline and her bestie.

Because so many people have loved following along their journey, Dean has decided to compile a book called “Nala’s World” that’s being released in September.

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Their followers inspired him to document it.

“The response to Nala and me on Instagram has been incredible and the reaction from followers each day continues to blow me away. I’m thrilled to be able to tell our story in full in a book and explain how this little cat has completely changed my life. When I found myself going solo in this epic bike journey I had undertaken, I was unsure where to head next. Since I hooked up with Nala, she has given me a purpose and companionship. I’m also learning a lot of important lessons, not just about our planet and the people who live on it, but also about myself.”

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Dean originally set out to cycle the world just for the heck of it. But Nala has taught him to slow down and see the world through her eyes.

“Before I found Nala, I was just darting from city to city getting through Europe as quick as possible so I could get to east Asia. When I found Nala she had a little cough – this probably wasn’t helped by cycling through harsh wind and rain. She taught me to take things slower, enjoy the experience and what was around me. I have always helped strays but she has taught me to be even more giving and compassionate.”

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So far Dean and Nala have visited eight countries including Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey and Georgia. Both have been warmly welcomed by everyone everywhere they go.

“People absolutely love her and she loves the attention. Everyone stops to come over to get photos and meet her. It’s great when I visit a new place as people instantly have a friendly, warm reaction. Sometimes we get given the odd tin of tuna and a pint from strangers. Most hotels we have been to are really accommodating with Nala, although once she had to pay her own surcharge.”

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When Dean embarked upon this trip, he didn’t budget for vet bills and cat food. So he asked for donations to help pay for her expenses through social media.

The outpouring of support for Nala was overwhelming and surpassed the total Dean needed. So he now uses that platform to raise money for charities.

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So far they’ve generated funding for Street Cats of Oman, the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust, the Marmaris Cat Shelter and Free the Bears. In 2019, they raised more than $126,000.

While the coronavirus slowed down their travels a bit, they plan to keep pushing ahead.

“Now that the borders are starting to open up after COVID, we will explore more of Europe. After that I am undecided whether to travel to the U.S. or stick to the original plan of getting to Asia. But every decision about where we travel always centers around ensuring there is no impact on Nala’s health or happiness.”

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We can’t wait to see more photos of this traveling pair and check out their book when it’s published. Good luck with the rest of your journey!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

Source: Unilad, 1bike1world, Instagram/1bike1world

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