Brilliant white, deaf Norwegian Forest Cat loves long cycle rides in London

This is a story with lessons! Lots of them. It concerns a proactive, positive man, Travis Nelson, who suffered from depression to suicidal levels in San Francisco, California after he lost his job but successfully turned his life around while providing an exciting life full of mental stimulation for his brilliant white, clear blue-eyed, Norwegian Forest Cat, Sigi, who loves to go out into London on Travis’s bike in a basket to meet the locals and hiss at the dogs!

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

He said that:

“She saved me from depression and thoughts of suicide”.


He adopted Sigi in America. He was told by the breeder that it was likely that she was deaf and it turned out to be true. Around 30% of white, blue-eyed domestic cats are deaf as the gene that makes them white (prevents the migration of melanin into the hair strands) interferes with the development of the inner ear which translates sound waves to electrical impulses which are sent to the brain for interpretation.

He had a girlfriend in San Francisco, Bianca. He proposed marriage to hear in Paris and she accepted. She has a cat too: Ylva. He was jobless but a friend offered a tech job in London and he started a new life there with Bianca, Sigi and Ylva (‘very much Bianca’s pet’).

They struggled to find an apartment to rent in London, as is the case when you live with cats. However, they managed to find a 2-bed flat in Belsize Park which is in North London. My ex-wife lives there! It is a nice part of London.

When Covid-19 struck the world, he was furloughed by his boss. There was a risk of those mental demons resurfacing so he decided to take Sigi on long bike rides around London while capturing the experiences on video to upload to social media. He is on TikTok, what else?


The first lesson is that you can turn things around with courage. Don’t find reasons why you can’t do things. Find the opposite: why you should try. You may fail but you then try again. That’s how people become “successful”.

Banish fears of the unknown and failure.


The second lesson is that cats often crave mental stimulation (think bored indoor cats) and will adapt to new experiences far better than people image and then benefit from them immeasurably as is the case with Sigi.

I would urge full-time indoor cat owners to seriously consider at the very least leash-training them and taking them for a walk outside. They’ll probably end up begging to be put on the leash especially if you take them for a walk at the same time each day.

Travis authored an article on his exploits with Sigi in The Mail on Sunday, the source of this article. Another example it seems of Travis’ proactive and purposeful lifestyle.

On the first occasion that Travis placed Sigi into his newly acquired basket for his bike she purred! She was ready for adventure and her deafness was not an obstacle. It was probably a benefit to her actually as all those potentially frightening noises are silenced.

Sigi does not like dogs! No surprise. She hisses at them all the time from her bike basket. Just part of the adventure.

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