Posted by: vlbyers | January 14, 2011

Rocinante’s newest Crewmember

'Cali' settling in

Calypso, 3 1/2 months

She is our new family member first but she is also crew aboard Rocinante, since that is her home. Unfortunately we lost our cat on the way down the coast in 09 and have been talking about getting a ‘replacement’ ever since not that we will ever replace Black Cat. When we visited our kids and their very cute puppy, the desire to have a dog welled large, for me, not for Larry. ‘Molly’ is the perfect size dog, in my opinion, for a boat. She isn’t a long hair, is spunky and very smart. Larry liked her a lot and spent many hours playing catch with her. What he liked most of all though, is that we would leave her with her family when we left, he was not enamored with ‘us’ having a cute, smart small dog like her. So we’ve remained animal-less these past 15 months, inquiring here and there about kittens but never finding it to be the right time.
In La Cruz, our home port for several months, was the perfect setting for getting a kitten. Close to vets where we might obtain a kitten and all the requisite shots, de-worming and de-fleeing if necessary. I talked with girlfriends about my desires and continued to have my one way discussions with Larry about getting a kitten, to put it another way, he wasn’t sold on the idea, just a matter of time.
Darlene and I ended up being the yoga ‘leaders’ here at the La Cruz marina, Darlene has been teaching a yoga class in Mazatlan for several years and I am just willing to have others join me doing yoga, so I volunteer to lead if they will stay. In doing yoga here the classes were starting at 0830 and since originally they were started by someone else we didn’t feel we could change the time. This meant though that we missed the morning ‘net’ which connects the cruisers in a particular area with the other cruisers, we share local knowledge, give and get help with boat repairs, and swap items not needed.
As I returned from yoga one morning, Larry told me on the net today a lady advertised a kitten looking for a good home and he got her name and boat name if I wanted to contact her. ‘Does this mean you are OK with getting a kitten?’ I asked. ‘Well…’ he answered, which of course I took to mean ‘Absolutely!’. I called the woman with the kitten and agreed to try the kitten for a week even though I knew she was feral, I thought she might adapt to us. The moment we let her out of the cage she darted for the safest place, under the stove, where she stayed for most of her time on our boat. I spent several hours every day, coaxing or pulling the cat from her safe hideout. She would hiss at both of us any time we moved around the boat but I still had hope that she would come around, Larry didn’t have this same hope, in fact he didn’t much care for her. The moment we got to the dock she bolted off the boat and was back to her home. The dock guys convinced the lady who caught her to leave her on the dock rather than attempting to try to catch her again, I couldn’t have agreed more especially since I had spent hours trying to work with her and got pretty much nowhere.
Being more determined than ever, and also now since we had a new cat box and scoop, 25 lbs of litter, 10 lbs of kitten food, and new cat toys, we needed a kitten to make use of them. So I went to La Cruz to the local vet, whom had done the spaying on the feral cat, and asked her if she knew of anyone who had kittens. She didn’t at the time but would keep her eye out and to check back in a few days after she had a chance to call around. Several days turned into a week and we finally got a chance to check back with her, she had had 5 kittens in the office a few days ago but didn’t know how to get in touch with us. She did know of a shelter several miles out of town which was bringing several females to be spayed and I could look at those to see if one would work for us.
Instead of waiting for the kittens to be brought in, one could say I am headstrong, single-minded or not willing to let this window of opportunity pass by, we decided, I convinced him, to go to San Juan. I also reasoned that seeing the cats in their own territory we would have a better indication of their true nature. The trip is a 2 busser and takes about 1 hour.
We arrived at the small town and called Janine, the owner of the shelter, who came and picked us up at the gas station and took us to her house, only in Mexico hu? What harm could a ‘cat lady’ do anyway. She has about 40 cats of all ages in her house, yard and on another fenced property, which has a small structure but was built solely for the cats. After spending an hour looking at all the cats, listening to where the various cats came from and how old they were we settled on one. She was quite docile and seemed lovable, her sister had the same temperament so I was pretty sure she would be a good cat. Janine and her mother spent time with the cats and they are quite used to human handling.
After signing the papers, she was put in her ‘cardboard’ carrying case and we were off on our journey back to La Cruz. She has adapted well to the boat, doesn’t frighten easily, hasn’t once tried to hide under the stove and actually likes being around us. She especially likes Larry, and I think the feeling is mutual based on him getting drops for her eyes from the vet-without being asked-calling for her when we return to the boat after being gone, grabbing her and putting her on his lap when he is reading a book and talking to her telling her what a pretty and good kitten she is.
So Calypso or ‘Cali’ is here to stay, we are now at the anchorage and she is still adapting well, the boats motion even got to Larry and I after being at the dock for so many weeks but we are all settling in well. She hasn’t spooked at the noise of the engine, the flush of the toilet or the water pump. She is already tuning in to the sound of the dinghy engine and wakes when one of us returns from an excursion to shore. Thanks to Mary Jane and Bill on Grey Max who gave her her favorite toy thus far, a catnip mouse, which she plays with for hours at a time. So we are having fun being as Larry says ‘parents’ again and not only ‘grandparents’ to our new little one.
Vicki signing off for now

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