Alejandro Valverde has an ‘appetite for chin scratches and snuggles’

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Alejandro Valverde has an 'appetite for chin scratches and snuggles'

In Hinduism – among other religions – there’s a belief in reincarnation. When a body dies, its soul passes to another being, with the final destination tied to a karmic ledger. You can come back as a person of higher or lower status, depending on your level of wickedness. You can also come back as an animal. A cat is an animal.

Hold onto that thought.

The veteran Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde has not shuffled over the rainbow bridge, but he has just retired at the grand age of 42. He finishes his career with 20 Grand Tour top 10s, a rainbow jersey, six more world championship podiums, and some conspicuous asterisks next to his name. Now, he is preparing for a quieter life in a Movistar team car.

Some people might begrudge his success, but after a 20-year pro career, few would begrudge him a gentle retirement in a comfy chair in the sun. His journey as a professional cyclist is … complete.

Ah yes, reincarnation. Coinciding with the dwindling days of Alejandro Valverde’s career, an animal shelter in Seattle received a delivery of cats. Some kittens, some older, some timid, some tetchy. One of them was a handsome boy of indeterminate age. He is called Alejandro Valverde.

Alejandro Valverde has an ‘appetite for chin scratches and snuggles’

This Alejandro Valverde, according to an adoption service ad found by enterprising memer, boseuser, on Reddit, is “a loving, patient old soul with an ample appetite for chin scratches and snuggles.” While we do not know what appetite Alejandro Valverde (🚴) has for chin scratches and snuggles, we do know that he was an older statesman in his team and homeland, and seen as something of a mentoring, fatherly figure. So far, we can draw a parallel.

“His favourite activities include finding the perfect sun spot, quality time with his people, and yelling when it is time for dinner,” the ad continues. “He takes no time at all to warm up to his new surroundings and will be purring by your side within days.” Even with the hungry yelling, it strikes me that Alejandro Valverde (🐈) is a bit of a catch.

A catch, yes, but with a catch. You see, Alejandro Valverde is “not satisfied with being your average cat” – which is Animal Rescue Talk for “he is a diabetic”. (As a past owner of a diabetic cat, I feel duty-bound to disclose that it is no walk in the park, taking its toll on your personal life with twice-daily insulin shots, punctually 12 hours apart. A diabetic cat is not a low-maintenance cat.)

It’s fortunate, then, that Alejandro Valverde’s “easy-going demeanour makes the shots no problem at all.” This here is a cat that can micro-dose with the best of them, positively purring at the sight of a syringe.

Alejandro Valverde has an ‘appetite for chin scratches and snuggles’

Apropos of nothing, that made me wonder whether there was something specific about Alejandro Valverde’s condition or demeanour that led Seattle Animal Shelter to give him that name. Was his foster carer a cycling enthusiast, perhaps? Were they making a ‘no-needles policy’ gag? Was it all just a coincidence?

No, actually. The person manning the Seattle Animal Shelter’s email address confirmed that a “bunch of cats” came in “around the time of the Tour de France, so they named them all after cyclists.” I don’t know what the rest of that crop of Tour Cats was called – perhaps there’s a feline Tadej Pogačar or Geraint Thomas sunning himself in the Pacific Northwest as we speak – and the reason I don’t know that is because literally all of the others have been adopted. All of them except this one senior-aged, brown/black-coloured domestic shorthair called Alejandro Valverde.

Which is a bit sad, really, because look at him. Look at his hopeful stare, the way that his little feet sink into that bobbly IKEA bathmat, the way that in a frantic prior search for blood sugar he has scattered kibble about behind him. He looks like he is ready to, again, have a bit of a yell about his dinner. He looks like he can’t wait “to give you the opportunity to scratch his soft chin.” Most particularly, he looks like he “will reward you with plenty of headbutts and slow blinks.”

Alejandro Valverde has an ‘appetite for chin scratches and snuggles’

He is Alejandro Valverde, a diabetic kitty looking for his forever home.

In a way, aren’t we all? And wouldn’t it be good cosmic karma to give him that?

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By: Iain Treloar
Title: Alejandro Valverde has an ‘appetite for chin scratches and snuggles’
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Published Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2022 04:18:05 +0000

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