Stray kitten crashes cyclist’s round the world adventure as feline travel companion

When Dean Nicholson set out from Dunbar in the Scottish borders, he had visions of cycling the world solo.

The 31-year-old welder had quit his job to see the world from a bicycle seat.

He travelled south, passing through eight countries and sharing his adventures online.

Under the username @1bike1world the cyclist had made it through England, the Netherlands, Belgium, France Switzerland, and Italy, before heading into the Balkans.

But crossing the Border from Bosnia to Montenegro his plans came unstuck.

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⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ☀️☀️☀️⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Luckily i got this picture this morning as around lunchtime the weather suddenly changed. ???⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Out of nowhere the rain started battering down and we were forced to take shelter in some nearby concrete tunnels, these protected us from the rain but the wind was howling through them making them unbearable!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We had no other choice but to crack on, quick check of the gps and the nearest town was 15 miles away so on went the waterproofs and off we went, a mixture of rain, endless hills and a lovely headwind made this a day im glad is finally over. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On the plus though, i stopped in to a pizza restaurant to ask if there was anywhere good to camp for the night and got a free pizza with permission to camp behind the restaurant! ??? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Good night all ? @1bike1world #adventuresbybike #adventure #adventureseeker #travelblogging #beautyofcycling #cycletheworld #cycletouring #worldbybike #adventurecat #greece #jblboombox #trek920 #trekdomain #scotland #scotlandflag

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⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ☀️☀️☀️⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Luckily i got this picture this morning as around lunchtime the weather suddenly changed. ???⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Out of nowhere the rain started battering down and we were forced to take shelter in some nearby concrete tunnels, these protected us from the rain but the wind was howling through them making them unbearable!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We had no other choice but to crack on, quick check of the gps and the nearest town was 15 miles away so on went the waterproofs and off we went, a mixture of rain, endless hills and a lovely headwind made this a day im glad is finally over. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On the plus though, i stopped in to a pizza restaurant to ask if there was anywhere good to camp for the night and got a free pizza with permission to camp behind the restaurant! ??? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Good night all ? @1bike1world #adventuresbybike #adventure #adventureseeker #travelblogging #beautyofcycling #cycletheworld #cycletouring #worldbybike #adventurecat #greece #jblboombox #trek920 #trekdomain #scotland #scotlandflag

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“I was cycling up this hill, music blaring, going pretty slowly,” said Nicholson recording his journey to instagram.

“Then this wee guy, meowing his heart out was chasing me.”

To his surprise he was being followed by a lonely kitten.

Determined to find the abandoned cat a home, he took it with him.

Visiting a vet in the town of Budva the tiny cat was thought to be “about 7 weeks old and in need of a good feed” but otherwise healthy.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BtigDpXB5lp/

⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ A wee video of us cycling around the streets of Athens yesterday. ??‍♂️?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Love watching it back to see Nalas face take everything in ❤❤ •⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ •⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ •⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ •⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ •⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #athens #athensgreece #attica #urban #street #city #love #music #biggiesmalls #hiphop #travelnomad #travel #quadlockcase #quadlock #ortlieb #trek920 #chillyseverywhere #streetphotography #catsofinstagram #cat #pet #meow #catsoftheworld #instacat #adventurecat #bikelife #cyclinglife #ig_street #like @cicloviajantes

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Nicholson was so taken by the creature that he treated her for worms, gave her a microchip and a rabies shot at the vets, so that she could continue on his journey across the border to Albania.

He named the determined kitten Nala, and she has been his travel companion ever since.

The cat has accompanied him through Albania and Greece, and has since become a travelling sensation online.

Almost 150 thousand followers have joined in on their journey via Instagram.

“It’s pretty crazy; I’ve had people pull over in their cars and get out to come see her as well,” he told the Daily Mail Online.

“Nala loves travelling and is super relaxed and chilled but she doesn’t like going over cobbles – this is when she jumps out the box and sits on my shoulders instead.”

Using a gofundme.com page he has asked for his followers to help cover the health and travel costs of Nala.

Booster jags ✔ MicroChipped✔ Rabies shot ✔ Passport ✔ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I think we are good to go now ?

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So far his feline-loving social media followers have raised over £4500 ($8700), much more than the £1000 he needed to buy Nala an EU pet passport and booster jabs to keep her on the road and cycling on.

The additional funds he used to pay vets bills for other stray animals including a puppy named Balou, which he encountered in Albania.

Balou has since been adopted by a family in London, with the help of Nicholson’s gofundme page.

The cat has derailed his plans to cycle round the world solo, but he’s happy to take his time now he’s met the ‘purr-fect’ travel companion.

So far Nala and Dean have made it to the Greek island of Santorini, and they don’t plan to stop travelling any time soon.

Since setting out in September last year he couldn’t have foreseen the kitten coming, but he’s changed the adventure for the best.

“What a year 2018 has been but by far the best part has to be bumping into this wee beauty! She has changed the tour for the best and looking forward to our adventures in 2019”

To find out more about Dean and Nala’s adventure visit his page gofundme.com/c9ec8-nala039s-travels or follow along @1bike1world

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