Scots explorer alerted to knife-wielding robber by cat companion
Forget a guard dog, how about a guard cat to protect you from a knife-wielding raider?
That was how Dean Nicholson, a 30-year-old explorer from Dunbar who is travelling around the world on his bike alongside his trusty sidekick, a tabby cat called Nala.
Nala, named after the lioness in The Lion King, spends the day sat in the basket of the bike as Nicholson travels the world.
Updating his 38,700 followers by posting on his 1bike1world Facebook page, Nicholson detailed the moment he was woken up by his feline friend in the middle of the night while camping by Lake Balaton in Hungary.
Instead of the normal stray dog or passing wild animal, Nala was instead warning of a unwelcome visitor who was helping himself to the supplies on the back of Nicholson’s bike.
After zipping open his tent, Nicholson spotted a man pointing a knife at him.
The former welder posted: “Woke up with Nala climbing on top of me this morning as if she was spooked and straight away I heard something rustling outside the tent.
“Usually it is just the odd stray dog sniffing around but when I heard the zip of my trailer open I knew we had an unwelcome visitor.
“I opened my tent slowly and peeked around the corner to find a man standing by my bike pointing a knife at me.
“Straight away I thought to myself **** this so I jumped out the tent and started going towards him.”
Then, the adrenaline took over for Nicholson as he went to confront the stranger, throwing a punch in the process and brandishing his own knife.
He said: “For some reason I didn’t even consider the knife he had but I was in his face wanting to see inside his bag.
“He handed me my tool kit and then showed me his tobacco implying that’s all he had. I then punched him knocking him to the ground where you could see he got visibly angrier so I went back to the tent and got my knife.
“He must’ve been wondering what he disturbed as he started panicking walking away but I caught up with him again, knocked him down once more and my go pro, bike lights and bike pump fell out his bag.
“He then started running and just to scare him a wee bit more I ran after him a few hundred metres shouting at him.”
The 30-year-old reflected that he potentially could have handled the whole ordeal in a different way.
He added: “Very eventful but I came away from the whole thing wishing it had went differently, looking back I think he was homeless giving the smell coming from him and he seen my bike as an opportunity.
“I’m not saying its right what he done but some people fall into a bad way of life and its very easy to look down on them. I dont know his story but it would’ve been nice to sit down and talk to him instead of it all kicking off.”
Nicholson’s journey alongside Nala began two years ago with the explorer now in Slovakia, his 20th country and Nala’s 12th. He had left Scotland to avoid “going down the wrong path in life”.
Their adventures are likely to find their way into the written word as well with Garry Jenkins penning a book called ‘Nala’s World’, due out in September.