On Land or Water

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.

Looking into the night

Looking into the night

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.

Not traumatised

Not traumatised

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.

The garden is mine

The garden is mine

As well as the opportunity for mischief indoors.

Top cat

Top cat

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.


12 thoughts on “On Land or Water

  1. Wonderful pictures! Looking out on the night has to be on the long list. I didn’t realise he would get up on the bookshelf. Bertha does this on the kitchen cabinets but she has a bit more space to manoeuvre.

    I can understand that cat charities want to ensure their charges go to the best possible homes – but you had some very limited views of what the best possible home would look like. There should be some way that you could get a “responsible pet owner” badge based on regularity of vet visits (although regular fighting might be viewed suspiciously), pet supplies purchases, and social media acknowledgement of their importance in your life. Home visits might be an optional alternative if you don’t post on social media 😀

    • I did find it upsetting. I can see it might not sound ideal, and the charities have a responsibility to ensure the animals go to appropriate homes, but they did not want to speak to the vet, or the cattery to find out how well I had cared for Cat. Fortunately, another charity did think I was fit and proper person, and its approval was enough for a second charity to take me on. But it does make me wonder how many animals languish in rescue centres when they could be in homes, and worse, how many are destroyed.

  2. They do that here as well. I have sort of an adopted daughter. She is a vet nurse, and a couple of years ago, her and her partner [both in well paid jobs] wanted to rescue a dog. They were turned down flat because they were TOO YOUNG.

  3. Have they never heard of a Ship’s Cat? Or would that not be the sort of “working cat” they prefer? Those pics of MasterB that you didn’t upload are clear evidence of who is the B’sun on your ship. He is most in charge. One was an excellent opportunity to measure that cat and the last is a contender for the calendar.

  4. Oh my gosh that is the most ignorant reason for not allowing a person to adopt a cat. Vikings came over with cats on the ships all the time. – Cat’s are amazing animals and adapt well to all kinds of situations. I see that Master B is very loved and seems to enjoy being on the boat. Loved all your photos of him here today.

  5. Wow. That logic…. Some of our animal rescues in the U.S. have gotten as bad about adoptions. When it comes to dogs, I’ve encountered organizations that seem to care less about the quality of life the animal will have and more about the dimensions of your yard and height of your fence.

  6. how awful not being allowed to adopt a cat because of taking him to the boat! I am sure that Master B has a great life and far better than cats who are confined to barracks and only eat grass indoors! What splendid photos of him I especially like the top of the bookcase shot! You have a whole calendar there nearly!

    • I agree. There are lots f examples of cats living safely n boats. A quick call to the vet would have established that I am, if anything, over anxious about my pets safety.

  7. Love that picture of Cat and I agree that the last picture of MasterB is one to think about for the calendar. Speechless over you being denied over the fact that a cat you adopted would be spending time on a boat.

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