Tuesday 13 July 2021

Stray cat inspires man to cycle 10,000 km around the British Isles coastline for charity

SWANSEA - NEWS AND COMMENT: Jean-Louis Button, 28, is a very fit man but he admits that during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown he was hit hard with mental health problems just like many other people. But a stray cat came into his life and cheered him up. 

Jess, the name that he gave to his cat companion, is believed to be around 18 years old and Jean-Louis says that "luckily at just the right moment a beautiful feline crept through my door and woke me up with her gentle purr."

Jean-Louis Button and Jess
Jean-Louis Button and Jess. Photos:- Left: ITV News. Right: Jean-Louis Button.

They became very close over eight or nine weeks. Because of the amount of comfort, happiness and love that she gave him he felt a strong desire to give back and help Cats Protection, one of the UK's largest cat welfare charities which is entirely run by volunteers who foster cats.

John-Louis because decided to raise money for three charities, one of them being Cats Protection, by cycling around Britain which, as mentioned in the title, is about 10,000 km if you follow the coastline entirely around the island. In short, he was inspired to take on this arduous and lengthy fundraising project because of the companionship and love shown him by a stray cat who introduced her to him unannounced. He said: 

"I honestly don't know how I would have coped without Jess's loving company."

The other charities that he is riding for are The Akshaya Patra Foundation and Water for Kids. These are two charities that provide food and water for vulnerable people across India and Africa.

"I chose each charity because they help causes, I feel strongly about."

He started his 10,000 km cycle ride on June 22. He believes that he will complete it before September. So far, he has travelled about 3,500 km. One of the photos on this page shows him about to enter Scotland. The picture was published on the ITV news webpage on July 13, 2021.

The other picture shows him with Jess who is a grey/brown tabby-and-white random read cat. Jess is currently being fostered by Cat Protection until he returns from his journey in September. She is an elderly lady. I hope they are reunited and that they stay together until she goes over the rainbow bridge

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