One of our goals when we bought Magic Carpet was to get it set up so we could cruise with our cats on board.
Among other things, this meant that we had to have a screen made that would close off the back of the flybridge enclosure. That way, we could leave the stairs from the salon to the flybridge open, and the cats could go up there at will and stare at seagulls or do what ever else they felt like. Of course as luck would have it, the “canvas maker” we hired said the old flybridge bimini was going to come apart at the seams if we tried to patch in an aft screen, so we ended up with a new bimini top, all new side curtains, AND an aft screen.
We’ve been so busy with projects on the boat and with our respective jobs, that we just haven’t been able to find time to bring the cats over to see how they reacted.
This year, we decided that the long Thanksgiving holiday was the perfect opportunity.
Friday morning, we packed Zig the tiger stripe, and Moxie the tuxedo, into their carriers and loaded up the truck with two cats, two people and a ton of stuff. The F250 crew cab and its V-10 sure does love gas stations, but it is amazing how much stuff can be moved point-to-point in that truck.
The cats were not in complete agreement with the carrier idea, but on the whole, they made the one hour trip to the boat with relatively little complaint.
Once we got to the boat, we put them both down on the salon floor and opened the carrier doors. Both of them stepped out cautiously and looked around at the strange surroundings.
Zig immediately started hissing at everything in sight, including poor Moxie. We assume it was the new surroundings, and the completely alien smells that freaked her out. We took them both below to show them where the litter box was in the shower stall, and then left them alone to roam.
Zig jumped up on the lower berth and crawled behind some cushions, and decided that’s where she was going to stay for a while.
Moxie seemed a little more sure of herself, but it was fun to watch her climb up and down the stairs. Neither cat had ever seen stairs before.
Friday night was a little rough because they were still really unsettled and would hiss at each other a lot, but we did notice that during the night, Zig came out of hiding long enough to eat some of the food in the bowls on the galley floor, so we knew she was feeling a little more at ease.
On Saturday, we just laid around, read books, watched some TV and generally relaxed, and both of the cats seemed to catch that vibe, because they were both out in the salon with us, just chillin’.
By Sunday morning, they seemed fine. Zig was scoping out the salon,
But Moxie was busy trying to figure out how to get to the birds out on the dock.
We decided to head for home, so we boxed up the cats again and loaded up Big Red and hit the road. We’ll have to do the whole bit again soon so they remember where they are, and we’re hoping that after a few times, it will become old hat to both of them.