Love has the ability to find us even when we’re in a hurry. As we’re zipping along, rushing for another moment in time, events can happen that force us to slow down. And there, in the gentler pace, love waits.
Once Dean Nicholson met Nala by chance on a lonely road, he learned this lesson and gained a best friend and adventure buddy for life.
An avid cyclist, Dean set out from home in Dunbar, Scotland, on a solo ride across the world. With time and distance already behind him, he rode up a hill, miles outside a town near the Montenegro border, and heard the cries of a cat in need.
“She was meowing her little heart out chasing me,” Dean told Unilad.
He steered his bike to the side of the road, “jumped off and went over to the rocks and was like, ‘Oh there’s a scruffy wee kitten all alone’.”
After half an hour together, with Dean feeding Nala pesto, the pair knew they were meant to be family. Plus, it surely couldn’t hurt that Dean’s first food offering was pesto. Nala was a cultured cat from the start!
He shared their meeting on Instagram, writing, “A quick re-shuffle of my bike equipment she is now sitting happy up front leading the journey!”
Nala fell for the cycling life from her first ride, watching the scenery from her basket.
It’s the Journey, Not the Destination
Dean had set a fast pace for himself, relating, “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.”
But his new friend had a cough, the wind and rain doing little to help her kick it. Concerned for Nala, Dean learned to take life at a gentler pace. “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.”
Now, the pair remains inseparable.
Follow Nala & Dean Around the World
Since finding each other, the pair has seen so many places, including Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkey, and Georgia. Everywhere they go, Nala finds cat lovers who want to please the traveling kitty.
“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.”
The kindness of strangers goes far beyond the tuna and pints. When Dean took to fundraising for Nala’s vet care, kind hearts captivated by Nala’s story donated funds and the totals were overwhelming. With that money, Nala and Dean have donated to charities across the world.
To keep up with free-wheeling pair, catch Nala and Dean on Instagram.