This is the post I wanted to put up last night when the media part of WordPress was throwing me blanks when I tried to upload photographs. It’s not quite right today either, but I think I have succeeded this time.
Some of you may recall that when Cat died, and I tried to register with various charities agaisnst the day when I should be ready to welcome a new feline into my home, a prominent cat rescue organisation turned me down when I explained that my cat came with me to das Boot.
I was told there was no way any of their cats could be rehomed with me; that such behaviour on my part rendered me completely unsuitable to be in charge of a cat. It was just two weeks after Cat’s sudden death. I felt like a murderess, a cat abuser, someone who committed acts of unspeakable cruelty against her pet.
I knew Cat had been happy afloat. The vet was very proud to having a boating cat on her books and told people about him.
Still, the words stung, and sowed a seed of doubt. Was I being unfair? How could a cat enjoy being confined to a smallish boat when he was used to enjoying the freedoms of a largish garden? Though another charity was ready to confine any adoption by me to that of an indoor cat as I live on the second floor, and there is no catflap.
I may be kidding myself, but I think MasterB, like Cat before him, is fine on das Boot. He wouldn’t like to live aboard always, but then neither should I. However, there are compensations. Just like Cat, he enjoys watching the fish, fowl and fauna from the boat’s windows, and sometimes from the gunwale.
On Thursday evening, I sat in the dark so he could enjoy the view.
When I went to bed, he was still there. There was a chink of window open, and he put his nose to it and sniffed.
An hour or so later I was woken by flashing lights. It was the start of a terrific storm that was close by, and which got closer and closer so that we were soon right beneath it. MasterB doesn’t usually like storms, but he seemed perfectly happy to watch and listen to this one. The rain pounded on the roof of the boat. I hastily shut the windows, and regretted not putting my newly repaired boat cover on the back of the boat. Sure enough in the morning, there had been some ingress; the carpet was soggy under my feet, and there was a paddling pool by the rear door. The pontoons, which had sloped down on Thursday evening, were completely flat, something I have never seen before.
The storm went on and on. It must have eased eventually, and I went back to sleep, waking later with MasterB stretched across my legs. Not exactly traumatised by the night.
So no, I do not think I subject my cat to unknown cruelty by taking him on my boat. He finds plenty to stimulate him; it broadens his outlook and experiences in ways many a cat might envy.
Which is not to say he does appreciate being home again, and re-establishing himself in the garden.
As well as the opportunity for mischief indoors.
MasterB is loved, and knows he is loved. His welfare is of prime importance to me. He is a happy, well-balanced cat whether at home in London or on das Boot.