When MasterB was a kitten, I doubt very much if anyone, least of all Himself, imagined he would be a boat cat. Not a full time, paid up member of the union boat cat, but a boat cat nonetheless. Nonetheless seems the wrong word. MasterB is not known for his daring do approach to life; there is little (I hesitate to say nothing for fear of offending him) of the feline Errol Flynn in his make-up. He verges on the timid though has a habit of making friends with intact male cats the other more laddish cats shrink away from. My boy is a ginger contradiction.
A ginger miracle.

Of course I am biased. But days afloat with MasterB are almost more precious than days in London. He is confined. He is not allowed shore leave other than in a jacket attached to a lead. This is probably the most demeaning thing a cat can face. There are probably multiple entries in the Oxford Feline Dictionary plus links to feline psychotherapists who will hold a paw and encourage the client to breathe deeply and dig claws into soft furnishings while they express and expel their upset at such treatment.
Yet despite his restrictions, MasterB shines. He subverts my attempts to protect the upholstery from his claws and fur with thick rugs and blankets by burrowing underneath said rugs etc and sleeping there. He emerges to sit beside me, to blink his forgiveness, to climb onto the top of the cushions to watch the local wildlife.
Being at das Boot without him would be easier. No litter tray in the ‘bathroom’; no piteous meowing in the night to beg for unsupervised outdoor play and exploration; no sudden thuds as he knocks things over with an experimental paw. And no purring companion, no weight on my feet in the night, no shared stares into the night at the wildlife, no companionship.
We sit together in the fore cabin like an old married couple. Content to be together. I photograph him. He looks out at the night, eyes widening as a bull approaches the fence. When he came to live with me I wasn’t sure I wanted him. I am fairly sure he didn’t want me. But it’s a bit like one of those arranged marriages that works. I now have no doubt he loves me. I know I love him. The fact that I didn’t think I wanted him tells me I can be very stupid. He is the best cat in the world, and I must have done something very good to deserve him.

7 thoughts on “MasterB

  1. Flat out: that he puts up with this and actually seems to enjoy the boat ventures is testimony to the bond you two have. Reminds me of a friend whose cat would sit on her shoulder while she drove across country. Its a very special bond.

    • He wasn’t very happy at the start of our journey back to London today. Very vocal and distressed. I had to stop the car, let him out for a cuddle, and then we were able to proceed. I don’t know what the matter was, but it was rather dramatic and worrying. Then once home, he kept climbing into the car when I was trying to empty it.
      He had a nice little cruise to Ely and back last night when Older Nephew came over. Maybe he’s even the forecast for tomorrow and realises how hot it’s going to be in London.

      • I would say he wants to ride on your shoulder, but I don’t quite see him quite that bold. Hope he is more settled now.

  2. I’ve been enjoying catching up, but this post is one of my favorites. I love the honesty and ultimate sentiment (I had a similar experience with Wyatt, whom I only intended to foster, but he turned out to be the best dog–and the only one who ever listens to me–and I wouldn’t want to imagine my life without him).

    • Thanks Steve. Very late replying to this, for which apologies. I look at MasterB and he brings me joy. The fact that he chooses to be with me, wants me to play with him, wants my attention, expresses so clearly he enjoys being with me and trusts me is the stuff of miracles. He is a cat and I am a human, yet we are best friends.

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