This is Niccolò Bonifazio, a professional cyclist from Italy.
He’s garnered plenty of accolades for athleticism during his riding career, but the most precious prize of all came about through a recent act of kindness.Last month, Bonifazio was on a 20-kilometer training ride with a few friends in a remote region when something caught his ears. From somewhere off the road, with no homes or buildings in sight, Bonifazio perceived the sound of tiny cries for help.
“I heard meowing in the distance,” Bonifazio told The Dodo. “It was a disturbing noise. So, I went into the woods to search.”
It was then that the concerned cyclist discovered a tiny kitten clinging to life near a garbage bag, apparently having been dumped there and left to die.
Thankfully, Bonifazio had found him just in time.
And with that, Bonifazio’s training ride transformed into a rescue mission.
“The kitten wasn’t doing very well,” he said. Time was of the essence.
Clutching the helpless baby with one hand, Bonifazio proceeded to spend the next hour riding the kitten to safety. And, as can be seen in this video of the rescue, he fell in love along the way.
That was the moment the kitten’s life changed forever. Bonifazio had saved him from the verge of death — but he didn’t stop there.
“We immediately brought him to the vet and he is now very well,” Bonifazio said. “I decided to take him home with me.”
Since then, surrounded by the love of Bonifazio and his partner, the little kitten has blossomed.
“He’s very nice and full of energy,” Bonifazio said. “His name is Bisous; in French that means ‘kiss.'”
There’s little doubt about the tragic end that awaited the kitten had Bonifazio not heard his cries that day — but because of his actions, the road stretching out ahead now for Bisous couldn’t be brighter.
And, fittingly, it’s one they’ll be sharing together.