This story originally appeared at InspireMore.
If Dean Nicholson hadn’t decided to leave his job as a welder to travel the world by bike, he never would have met his beloved sidekick.
In September, the 31-year-old embarked on his exciting journey, biking to Newcastle from his hometown in Dunbar, Scotland. From there, he took a ferry to Amsterdam, rode through Belgium, Greece, Switzerland, and Italy, then took another ferry to Croatia before riding to Bosnia. That’s where he came across a tiny kitten, alone and hungry.
“I was going up a steep hill with my music blaring out of my speaker when I heard a desperate meow from behind me. When I clocked the kitten, I got off my bike to stroke her then that was it, she wouldn’t leave my side,” Dean said. “I wasn’t going to take her with me at first, but I soon fell in love with her and I couldn’t bring myself to leave her there alone.”
Dean gave the kitten some food and took her to a vet shortly after, where she received necessary shots including a rabies vaccine. She was surprisingly healthy besides being a little malnourished. Dean named his new friend Nala and ever since, she has remained his constant companion.
Dean soon learned the two couldn’t have been more perfectly matched if they tried. Nala loved riding in the carrier on his bike from day one, which is pretty unusual for a cat.
In fact, the fearless kitty has even taken to sitting atop his shoulder during rides. According to Dean, the only things she doesn’t like about biking are going over cobblestone and bumps on the road. That’s when she’ll climb onto his shoulder.
After having so much fun with his new traveling buddy, Dean knew he always wanted Nala with him wherever he went. He had a pet passport made for her so he’ll never have to leave her behind.
So far, the two have traveled to Albania, Greece, and Montenegro, but that’s just the start of their adventures together.
They’ve also done more than just ride on his bike. As it turns out, Nala isn’t afraid of water at all!
And, of course, Dean isn’t the only person who adores Nala. He shares many videos of the cat riding with him on Instagram to the absolute delight of his followers.
People find Nala just as adorable in person, too. “Everybody loves her when they see her popping out of the carrier on the front of my bike and always ask for pictures of her,” Dean said.
Not only has Nala captured Dean’s heart, but ours as well! Here’s to many more travels shared between this man and his sweet, adventurous cat. There are plenty more cute photos and videos where these came from on Instagram.
Learn more about how Nala changed Dean’s life in the video below, and share with all the cat lovers in your life.
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