The Joy of Living with Cats
Cats have many wonderful features, waking up and playing chase at four in the morning is not one of them.
Casey and I live in a van, ‘down by the bayou’…couldn’t help myself. We in do in fact live in our van, close to a bayou, because that’s close to where I’m rebuilding our catamaran Curious, our Wharram designed Tangaroa 35, Mk1.
We have two cats that live in the van with us because the little shits adopted us when we took on this rebuild project. Literally, within an hour of shaking hands with the previous owner these two wet, flea infested, anemic, runty little fur balls came bounding out of the flood soaked grass and would not leave.
At first we ignored them, hoping they might go back to Mum, and besides they wouldn’t come closer than a few feet. Throughout the afternoon, they just did their thing and I started on cleaning this new boat of ours…we did not feed them.
In the morning they were still there.
We headed out for the day running errands and were gone for about eight or nine hours, when we returned they were nowhere to be seen and we thought, “Cool, they’ve gone back to where they belong”.
Between the hulls of the boat sat a wooden picnic table, you know the big heavy framed type with cross-member underneath that scrape your shins whenever you shuffle on the seat, well there where the two kittens draped over the cross pieces under the table and looking quite at home.
And now they were keen to be our friends, in fact they would not leave us alone. They did their cute little meow, purr and looking up with kitten eyes and against our better judgement we feed them. Actually Casey fed one and I fed the other, the one I fed took a little kitty food from the tip of my finger which was really cute then on the second bit of food nibbled then chomped…right onto the tip of my finger with his eyes wide, ears back and a psychotic look in them…a little like Golem from Lord of the Rings.
Anyway, we took them to the vet to get checked out for anything bad, advice on how to get rid of the fleas and balls, (we had to wait a few months to do the snip because they were only about 7 or 8 weeks when they adopted us), and they’ve been with us ever since. You see I’ve always said I wanted a ships cat…after we get a boat and was only counting on one.
So they’ve been with us for about two years now as we’ve traveled around a little, spent a year rebuilding a house for family and rebuilding our own boat, and we’ve trained them to walk in harnesses. We don’t let them run free, being Australian I have a great problem with cats chasing the local fauna. I know its different here in the U.S. but old habits die hard, so they remain constrained.
And to be honest, the early morning rampage they often go on is not that bad, the benefit of their company and silliness is well worth it; they’ve helped me keep my sanity through some tough times, kind of like therapy cats, and when we get our boat finally on the water I’m sure they’ll appreciate the extra room to run around on…or they’ll ignore us until they feel it’s convenient to allow us to dote upon them, as usual.