The sun is shining, pigeons call in the woods, birds I can't identify cheep and call, it's otherwise quiet and beautiful. Dark clouds scud across the sky from time to time and few drops of soft rain fall. Enough to make me bring my bedding back on board.
Earlier in an inattentive moment, I put a bottle of water on my bed temporarily while I moved things around. Then I forgot about it. The top was not secure. And by the time I remembered it, one corner of my quilt was very wet. Fortunately the day has been windy as well as mild, and it is more or less dry now, but I really don't want to risk it getting a soaking.
Not that I intend to go to bed just yet, though last night I put on my pyjamas and went to sleep around nine o'clock. With one thing and another, mainly being out with Older Nephew in the afternoon, and scrubbing boat covers in the morning, I was pretty tired. MasterB was, I hoped, sufficiently stimulated by his boat trip, walled in by cushions in a citadel in the fore cabin, to sleep.
And initially he was. But he made it increasingly clear that he expects extend more of a Friday night. I groggily sat with him looking out of the window but steadfastly refused to take him ashore. I went back to bed and slept. He was quiet. Too quiet. I am wondering if that is what woke me. He wasn't asleep n my bed, and when I looked in the forecabin I couldn't see him there, but I hadn't turned the light on, so I could not be sure. I called his name and glanced at the galley window which I had left open a few inches; not enough for a ginger ninja to climb through. I called his name, and a moment later saw him on the starboard side of the boat, leaping nimbly onto the gunwale and making his way around to the galley window to come through that gap too small to admit his egress or entrance. Except it was obviously the route he had taken to unofficial shore leave.
I picked him up and brought him back inboard. He was purring, happy, his fur full of sticky burrs which gave a clue as to where he had been. My heart was racing, I was shaking at the what ifs that crowded my mind. I'm glad he had his adventure, I'm glad he enjoyed it, but it's not going to happen again if I can help it. If he fell in and I wasn't aware, he would drown. There is no wherefore him to get out. I remember Freddy also made his way ashore in the night once, and I only realised he had gone when he climbed back on board with a satisfied meow. I am wondering if there is a way I can leave the windows open (they slide) but employ something that stops a determined cat being able to push them wider. One drowned cat and I would never return here. Your suggestions please.