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71-year-old cycling thousands of kilometres with three-legged cat


Steven Telck never imagined he’d be spending his retirement travelling with a rescue cat named Miss Bunny.

“I named her that because she hops like a bunny,” Steven says before picking her up for a cuddle. “She’s a three-legged cat.”

Instead of focusing on showing affection for his feline, the avid adventurer assumed he’d be spending his golden years enjoying his adventurous hobbies, which had included biking around Asia and scaling Mount Kilimanjaro.

Steven never expected he’d begin experiencing debilitating pain in his feet.

“They just hurt so bad, I couldn’t stand up,” Steven says. “I couldn’t walk more than 100 yards.”

His retirement dreams were dashed and he fell into a depression.

“Part of the problem with being Type-A is that we get fixated,” Steven explains. “And we can’t figure out how to be happy when things don’t go our way.”

But then he met Miss Bunny, who despite languishing in an animal shelter for three years, couldn’t have seemed more content.

“She’s minus a leg and I’ve got foot neuropathy,” Steven recalls thinking when they first met. “We’ll be a good match for each other.”

And then Steven’s wife suggested a recumbent trike might make a good match for him so he could keep challenging himself without putting full weight on his feet.

So Steven and Miss Bunny started cycling together – he cycling while sitting down, she observing from the safety of a basket.

“Sometime she’s got her head hanging over the side with her eyes closed, like ‘Are we there yet?’” Steven smiles. “And sometimes she’s [reaching over the basket] pawing at my knees.”

The dynamic duo from Wyoming have cycled countless kilometres around the U.S. on month-long trips, camping every night.

Now they’re traveling along the west coast of Canada, spreading smiles along the way.

“Nobody even knows I’m on there. ‘What are you riding? A trike?’” Steven recalling comments from with the strangers they pass. “‘I didn’t see a trike. All I saw was this cute little cat here!’”

And Steven couldn’t feel more grateful for his travels with Miss Bunny, which are part of why he’s the happiest he’s ever been.

“Most people go somewhere and all they think about his how to get to point B, and then their interest starts,” Steven says. “But when you’re on a bicycle, the whole time is our trip.”

Rather than racing to a destination, the 71-year-old says he’s learned life truly is about appreciating the journey.

“I’m still a Type-A. But I’m reformed. I’m laid back,” Steven smiles. “What’s the old saying? ‘Don’t worry. Be happy!’” Top Stories

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