How to cruise happily with cats
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 1999 10:22:01 +0000
From: Sandy Floe
Subject: Re: Pets
> Does anybody take their pet with them cruising? We HAVE to take our little kitty with us. Any information about this will be appreciated.
> Wannabee GB42 Anywhere Ocean
> Sharon & DickWe understand about the HAVE to take kitty. We have two grown pussycats we HAD to take with us last summer.
We bought two cat carriers just to take them in the car. Because our travels took us through British Columbia, we had to produce evidence of them having had all their shots. The cat carriers came in handy for the trip to the vet for the shots.
On the trawler, we placed an enclosed litter box in an out-of-the-way place. We also bought enough kitty litter to last the trip because that stuff is heavy to try to replace when en route. Same with their food. Most good cruising areas we frequent are not close to a store. So, in order not to have a cat mutiny we take their favorite food.
Our two cats had never been away from home except for an occasional trip to the vet. So, when I produced the cat carriers, the pussycats remembered the consequences of being inserted in the carrier and acted appropriately (from their viewpoint). Allow at least an hour for this procedure. When you finally catch them, they seem to "swell up" like a puffin fish and have six to eight legs you must hold to try to get them inside the carrier. All legs are churning in full reverse. Did I mention gloves? If gloves are not worn, it is recommended you have first-aid training and a suture kit handy.
If anyone would invent a cat carrier with a door that is bigger than the carrier we'd be the first to buy it. Perhaps a modified crab or shrimp trap would work better. You should remember to remove the cats if you use the trap for its original purpose.
Looking for extra space on the boat? The first time you bring the cats aboard they will find it for you. A scared pussycat has a built in radar for the most inaccessible "storage" places you can imagine. Leave them alone and they will finally come out. Want to find out where they hid? Assign a person to watch each cat and start the engine. It helps to have a rug on the floor so they have starting traction for their flight.
Sleep. Cats seem to sleep all the time. Wrong. Cats sleep when you are awake. They get up when you go to bed. A boat is a fairly confined space so many times they like to hold dancing practice on your bed just as you are dozing off. Many marinas have resident harborcats. These cats have their established territory and your boat will be in the middle of it. It is guaranteed that they will smell your cats and visit your boat in the middle of the night. Your cats will be found on the chart table looking out the window with 1 to 10 harborcats on the other side looking in. All will be expressing their thoughts verbally at the top of their lungs. You then consider using the crab trap for other than its intended purpose, without telling the Admiral.
It is best to start your kitty early in training to be a "boatkat." We now have a five-month-old Himalayan that thinks the boat is home and the house is a temporary residence. Come to think of it, so do we.
Sandy and Dawna Floe
Day Island, WA