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.


10 thoughts on “AWOL

  1. Don’t know exactly how your windows work. Does the opening part of the window have a track that it slides in? If so, two options. Purchase a small dowel cut to the appropriate length and put it in the bottom track so the window can’t slide back. Other option… drill a hole in the track and put a small nail through the hole in the track. Hoping your windows slide within a metal track. A picture of the window would be great. I am betting Older Nephew can come up with something since he can see the window and how it is built/installed. So glad he came back… scary. CH just found a picture of MasterB coming out of one of the windows on IG. The dowel would work perfectly to keep the window from pushing back.

    • Great minds! I have been thinking of using a garden cane – I have lots – And they usually break where you want them to. I should love MasterB to be able to come and govern das Boot, but there have been far too many drowned cats at the marina to make me contemplate that freedom with anything less than great fear. I am hoping he will want to go ashore shortly while it is still light and the dog owners and their pets are away. No sign of that yet though.

    • I think the green cane, dowel option is what I shall try next. But he got out again last night when I had left the window only the tiniest bit open. He has learned he can push it wider, so that is what I need to prevent.

  2. As you know, my view is slightly different. I think you should let him have the run of the boat and the shore at night, and trust his nine lives!

    • No way. There have been too many drowned cats at the marina, and they were from the colony that grew up beside it and had some understanding of the environment. The night Feddy fell in and the trouble I had rescuing him remains a lively memory. To wake up to a drowned MasterB would end my boating career.

  3. Although I am trying to ban the word “should” from my vocabulary – so I apologise for my remark above. What I meant to say was that perhaps you could consider the option……

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