Caturday felid trifecta: Cat tags along on world tour; cats that are a bit thick; where the moggies roam (and lagniappe)

We have trifecta today, as usual.

First, from the BBC, we learn the tale of Dean Nicholson, a Scottish welder and former rugby player who decided to shake up his life and bicycle through Europe and Asia.ย  And he did, but then met a tabby. . .

Click on the screenshot to see the whole story. Some pictures and excerpts are below.



[Dean] then travelled on to Bosnia which is where he met a little striped creature who would become his travel companion.

Dean told BBC Radio Scotland’sย Drivetime with John Beattie: “It was just an ordinary day. I was about to cross into Montenegro and I was cycling up a big hill.

“I 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.

“But 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.”

The original plan to get to Thailand as quickly as possible went out of the window and Dean realised the little kitten, who he named Nala, had changed him.

Speaking from Austria, he said: “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.

. . . The pair have covered about 10,000 miles. Dean had to organise a pet passport for Nala, and now the world is their oyster.

So important is his furry friend that she even dictates the itinerary.

All photos from Instagram 1 Bike 1 World

Dean said: “I couldn’t go through Iran with the cat because they wouldn’t let her stay in hotels so we missed that. The plan now is to cycle up through Russia in the spring.”

Everywhere they go, Dean and Nala attract attention. Local people are in awe of the little purring passenger who travels in a basket on the front of his customised bike or on Dean’s shoulder if it’s a bit bumpy.

People stop them to see the cat and she has been responsible for at least one free pint of beer for her owner.

Nala has been to Albania and Greece and back to Dunbar for a pitstop. She has been in a cable car and even enjoyed kayaking.

They have become social media sensations, racking up 800,000 followers on Instagram and about 1,000 messages a day.

Their 150,000 subscribers on YouTube bring in enough advertising money to keep them going in bike repairs and cat food.

Cable car cat at Batumi in Georgia

Nala even has her own calendar and now a book charting their adventures.

Dean said: “We are going to spend winter in Greece working at some animal sanctuaries. Then through Russia in the spring and on to Thailand. I want that whole dream of sitting on the beach – with a coconut.”

And of course, a cat.

And a video, showing Nala live!


From we have a feature on moggies who are a bit thick. Click on the screenshot to see them; I’ve reproduced a few below.

Actually, only one of these cats seems to be dumb; the rest are just being canny. And I don’t see ten pictures at the site!

This is the dumb one:

And this is a smart one!:

A weird one:



Here’s a short video from National Geographic about a “Cat Tracker” investigation to find out where domestic cats go when they’re out of the house. This is useful information because cats not only kill wildlife, but are themselves threatened by predators. Thus you might want to study your own cat (see below about where to get the device), and you can be part of a citizen science project to study the wanderings of “house cats”.

If you’d like to participate, go here and register. You’ll get a free harness and GPS device that your cat has to wear for five days, and then you return it. Let me know if you do sign on, and what you eventually find out about your cat.

Jon Losos, an evolutionary ecologist at Washington University, summarizes the results of the Cat Tracker Project here.


And some lagniappe: The making of a viral “cat versus Pence’s fly” video. It was a lot of work for a short video, but the cat, unusually, was cooperative.

h/t: Steve, Avi, Su, Merilee


  1. rickflick
    Posted October 17, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    The Dean and Nala story is really engaging. Cats are so adaptable, and sometimes as loyal as dogs. I feel sorry for people who have not enjoyed living with a cat.

  2. Posted October 17, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I think Mike is the only politician in the world who could get so completely upstaged by a fly.

  3. merilee
    Posted October 17, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink


  4. Posted October 17, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    There are lots of GPS pet tracking collars available for prices as low as $39, though I suspect one has to pay more for a good one. I’ve thought about getting one to track our cats but I’m sure they wouldn’t like a relatively heavy collar so I’m loathe to force it on them.

  5. Glenda Palmer
    Posted October 17, 2020 at 2:46 pm | Permalink


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