We spent quite a while looking at cows. When we had got off the boat, or disembarked, which sounds much grander, the cows had been at the far end of the field, but as we turned from our perambulations they were close by the fence.
NotCat sat down. He watched. He lay down to give them his full attention but in comfort. I stood. The path was damp and muddy. Minutes passed. I took some photos. I got bored, and decided if we were going to watch cows all evening I wanted to sit down. I carried NotCat to the steps. The moment I had got comfortable, he lost interest in cows and turned his attention to boats. We crunched along the gravel.
NotCat did that cat thing of walking along the very edge while I held my breath and suggested the grass was nicer to paws.
He had a poo. Oh hurrah. In fact double hurrah, as the smell even in the open air made eyes water. I guessed that meant he thought the whole venture was ok, as he had been studiedly constipated since Friday.
It was actually our second trip out with the ginger ninja in his harness, and me hanging onto the royal blue lead. The first time he had a pee, and I rejoiced. I had made a special trip to the shops to buy cat litter this morning, but that doesn’t mean I want him to use it if the outdoor facilities are more to his liking. He also discovered swans. Or swan, as there was only the one. It was all rather reminiscent of Cat’s riverside education at Mother’s bungalow. The geese were in the field with their new goslings. NotCat wanted to investigate and I was very glad of the lead. This boy has a lot to learn. If Cat could be hissed at by a female mallard when he started weighing up his chances of getting one of her babies, I dread to think what a bevy of maternal geese would do.
The unpalatable filling to this two sortie sandwich for NotCat was the arrival of my friends P and S. Those are their initials, I am not trying to suggest they are a postscript to this story. NotCat was lying beside me in the fore cabin. You could almost see him reassessing this boating business and deciding it wasn’t so bad. He had even seen off a feral cat. I wish I had a video of it: large black and white feral moggy being chased by ginger in bespoke jacket trailing woman at the end of a blue lead.
I knew P and S were here when their Jack Russell, Z, hurtled onto the pontoon, wagging his tail in a frenzy of delight. The marina owner had been talking abut people not keeping their dogs on leads, and here was my visiting canine running free. I found my friends who had already been approached by management. To quell some of his excitement, and to give NotCat a fighting chance of a peaceful afternoon, we went for a walk. Z found all sorts of things to roll in. His joy was unbounded. He met a spaniel and a Westie. His tail nearly came off, he wagged it so hard.
Back at the boat, smelly but calmer, he was passed to me through the window. NotCat buried himself under the pillows. And stayed there. We went up river to the pub, tied up, ate, came back. NotCat was still under the pillows. S is a natural helmsman. His control is wonderful to behold. I think he may have missed his métier. I was in charge of ropes, and P held the dog. Z, dressed in Cat’s buoyancy aid, was co-pilot, paws on whatever that strip in front of the window is called, alert and very very happy.
When he first came, he had an understandable I’m-not-sure-about-this moment on the pontoon. Now he is very sure about it. He loves being in the boat and the pontoon is how to get to it.
So it seemed only fair, once they had gone, that NotCat should have his share of fun too. Hence the cow watching. When I persuaded him back aboard I intended to cook dinner, only to look up and see the most beautiful golden light. I think it is called sunshine. Of course I had to get off the boat again and take my camera. I left the boat doors open. When I got back, I found his gingerness all set to explore the gunwhale on his own. What a brave boy. I picked him up, reattached the lead and let him study the water. I think we have had a breakthrough.
Loads of pix to post, but they’ll have to wait until I am home again.