Former rugby player, Dean Nicholson, got tired of his day to day life and decided to go on a trip around the world, hoping for a change. What he got on top of that was an adorable kitty cat, who he named Nala, for a travel buddy.
He told BBC that as he was cycling up a large hill into Montenegro, he "heard a wee cat miaowing from behind me. She was chasing me up the hill. So I stopped and pulled over and she just wouldn't leave my side. I put her on the front of my bike and got her comfy to take her into the next town. I went to find out if she was microchipped," adding that "she wasn't and she climbed up on my shoulder and fell asleep and I just thought that was it, she was coming with me on this tour."
Dean said that Nala changed him as a person, saying: "She has taught me just to slow down and enjoy life a lot more. Having her on the bike her needs come first and it slowed the tour down and now we stop and play a lot. If there's woods we stop and play and she loves running on the beach." He had to organize a pet passport for her, and together, they have covered about 10,000 miles.
Everywhere they are, the pair attract attention, and we're not surprised at all. We would probably be just as in awe as the rest of the local people if we saw Nala riding on Dean's bike or shoulder. One of the locals has apparently even given Dean a free beer as a result of the kitten on his shoulder, which we think is entirely justified and adorable.
"We are going to spend winter in Greece working at some animal sanctuaries," Dean said. "Then through Russia in the spring and on to Thailand. I want that whole dream of sitting on the beach - with a coconut." We hope that his dream comes true and also that he doesn't forget to give Nala her own little coconut filled with delicious wet cat food.