Sunday, 17 May 2009

Cats With Boots

I read that the crew of NB Lucky Duck are considering adding to their complement with the signing on of a cat from the local Blue Cross rescue hospital.

Cats are very independent creatures and each has its own personality.

Some take to narrowboats like "ducks to water" (forgive the pun) and some don't.

A few years ago before we had our own, we found a cat in our open cratch one day.

The cat had no collar or other signs of ownership. She looked rather emaciated and dirty, so we fed her. She hung around for a few weeks and gradually got stronger. We named her Poppy.

Then one day she disappeared. We gave her a week, but she didn't come back, so we moved on.

Surprised at how much we enjoyed her company, we acquired our own full time crew member in the shape of Moo. Against all logic and commonsense, we felt so bad at leaving her brother behind as the last remaining member of the litter, we ended up going back and getting him too.

So, we ended up with two new crew.

Luckily, Moo and Boo both took to a watery life. Three years old now, they have become very adept at switching between life on the boat and life in the house. They have the jungle to play in at the house and the real jungle when we live onboard.

Its impossible to restrict the movements of cats. In summer, they like to sleep outside in the cratch as they enjoy the fresh air. In the morning, we often get breakfast gifts of mice or birds.

Moo has excelled herself occasionally and brought home larger prey (her record includes a grey squirrel, magpie and a very large rat).

They are normally back onboard by the time we want to sail, but every now and again, they get their boots on and go on extended shore leave. The pair normally swagger back up the gang plank in the afternoon after a long night and forenoon carousing ashore. They then look up and miaouw as if to say "come on, get those pins out"...  


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