Cyclist shares his experience of cycling through ‘the world of Nala’ | Book Review – Sterling Journal-Advocate

“Unconditional love. That’s the beauty of cats, isn’t it? Dean Nicholson is interviewed by one of his Instagram followers, who invited him with his cat Nala to her home in a small town in Serbia. .

Finding Nala by Dean Nicholson (Courtesy photo)

Perhaps that explains why this pair, a Scotsman on a bicycle and a stray kitten from Bosnia, have been such a hit on social media platforms – or it could just be that Nala is so cute!

In September 2018, Dean and a friend started a road trip on their bikes, hoping to go around the world. However, things did not go as planned; both had experienced delays and setbacks. In December, his friend had left alone and Dean was cycling through southern Bosnia, heading for Montenegro, Albania and Greece for this leg of his trip. Riding a bike, listening to music and singing along with the choir, feeling upbeat about things when he heard a high pitched noise coming from behind him. He actually thought it was his rear wheel, but he stopped singing to identify it better. So he couldn’t believe his ears, it was meowing! But how, here, on a barren stretch of road, high in the mountains? Nonetheless, there was a “skinny, gray and white kitten running along the road, desperately trying to keep up.”

When he approached the cat, he expected it to be wild and run away, however the little kitten leaned over him, allowing him to pet and pet him. It was this action that helped Dean conclude that this kitten had been dumped! Having no cat food, he gave her some pesto, which the cat eagerly ate! Given that it’s 2018, of course, he took a video to share with friends at his home in Scotland, but soon realized that left out here, the little thing didn’t have much of a chance. survival. So what should a guy do? Especially if you are the one who saved all types of animals as a kid. Of course you take the kitten with you!

It may have been the easiest part of their journey together. Crossing borders from one country to another is not always the easiest thing to do in this part of the world. It soon became apparent that if Dean wanted to keep the cat, he had to get the proper papers for it, and that meant finding a vet, getting him checked out and the vaccines he needed to keep him healthy and allowed him to go. to be the travel companion he wanted to be. Because, even if he had a nice little bag on the front of the bike to ride, his favorite place was on Dean’s shoulder!

After the vet examined the kitten, he asked for a name for the little lady! A little taken aback, thinking he had a male cat, Dean gave her the name Nala, after the character in the Disney movie “The Lion King”, because she was a brave little fighter, not to mention the moment. where he looked for meaning. de Nala, he found it to mean “gift” in Swahili.

Dean and Nala became internet sensations when her video of the kitten was shared by some of her friends and a group in New York specializing in animal videos, found her, contacted Dean and shared her video on their YouTube and Facebook pages.

From there, their adventures had only just begun. Throughout the book, Dean chronicles their journey, the places they’ve been, the people they’ve met. How yea, the world is a complicated place, with a lot of evil and complex political and social issues, but it is his belief that deep down we are all the same. That it’s actually in our nature to do more good and kind things, and along the way people have agreed with him.

Among his thousands and thousands of followers on Instagram and YouTube, he has had the chance to meet some during his travels. Once, after changing his planned route, he had the opportunity to ask one of his supporters if she was disappointed that he changed his planned route. She told him that was not why they watched and followed his travels; it was because of Nala, her pleasure in traveling, her interaction with her and even some of her crazy actions. They didn’t care how long it took or how far it took to get to where he was going, they just wanted them both to be safe!

When COVID hit, Dean quickly realized how even the best of plans can be affected by a global pandemic. Which he also took the opportunity to write the story of Nala and her world, in which he has the right to share.

Although the book opens with a Scottish saying, I think it’s also a good way to end this chapter on their journey: “Whit’s fur you’ll no go past you.” Translated, it is: “Certain things in life are bound to happen. What is meant to be is meant to be. It’s fate.”

Between being a book about a cat, traveling and being exposed to different parts of the world, through the eyes of someone browsing it, I really enjoyed it.

Dean Nicholson’s “Nala’s World” is available in print and audio CD form from the Sterling Public Library.

Dorothy Schreyer is Library Associate II at the Sterling Public Library.

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