From Tower Bridge to Trafalgar Square, there’s lots to see in London. But one particular sight with two wheels and nine lives is generating significant buzz.
A bike-riding cat named Sigrid is the city’s newest attraction and has been taking the internet by storm. She and her owner, Travis Nelson, have amassed over 100,000 followers on their Instagram account, where people can watch her ride in the front basket of her owner’s bicycle. Some videos have been viewed more than five million times.
Sigrid and Nelson are originally from California, where he would often take his beloved cat on walks.
“I took her on a lot of adventures. We went to the beach. We’ve ridden the trains around San Francisco. I always used to take her down to the store and stuff like that,” he told the Associated Press.
“When we finally decided to do the bike rides in London, it had been four years of walks and adventures. And so, when I put her on the bike basket, she thought nothing of it. She was just immediately fine with it.”
Sigrid also happens to be deaf – something that affects 60 to 80 per cent of white cats with two blue eyes, according to International Cat Care. Nelson said it’s part of the reason why Sigrid enjoys riding through the loud city streets so much.
“I think it complements her kind of bold personality and kind of works for her, and it’s not a disability for her. It’s a superpower. It makes her a better cat,” Nelson said.
To prepare for their bike rides, Nelson always makes sure to put sunscreen on Sigrid’s ears, which he said is “her least favourite part of the entire process.” Sigrid is also always strapped in for safety while Nelson navigates the scenic streets. He also puts an absorbent pad at the bottom in case Sigrid needs to pee.
“We put on the harness and I usually put it on like five minutes before we’re ready to go so that it’s not so abrupt, like she has an idea of what’s happening,” he said.
But they often don’t get very far because wherever the unusual pair go, they attract plenty of attention, both in person and online. However, Nelson said they’re not in it for the fame — it’s all about having fun with his furry feline friend.
“I don’t really want to, I guess, be a traditional influencer in the sense of doing ads all the time,” he said.
As for Sigrid, the only thing that seems to dampen her enthusiasm is when she has to share the road with a pesky pooch, as several of their videos show her hissing at dogs.
“I like to show that cycling is really for everyone,” Nelson said.
With files from The Associated Press.