One thing that I most often hear from people about narrowboats is the astonishment that cats live aboard boats. Many boaters have cats! We of course have the best cat in the world but he is by and far not the only cat living the boatlife.
Don’t they run away? Most common question! No, if my baby has a wander and doesn’t come back he is either hurt (not happened yet) or kidnapped (I would find you and I would kill you if you kidnapped my Peanut). Cats know their boats as much as they know their houses. They know the sound of their people as well so if I call him he usually comes out promptly. He also will pop out of nowhere when he hears one of us coming down the towpath if we have been out. Cats a very smart animals.
Does he like living on a boat? He has been so happy as an only child on his boat. Is it the boat or the only child status he loves more I can’t be sure. The first 4 months he had no interest in leaving his boat at all. It was winter and he is not fond of weather so being curled up on a chair in front of a fire was his form of heaven. Now he just seems so content this summer. Most of the time when moored he is playing in a hedge or lounging on the well deck. He is also fond of the gunnels but this has issues.
Has he ever fallen in? Yes, twice now! At Cropredy he was out on the gunnels on a rainy day while we were moored for lunch. Alan looked out the window and saw a bedraggled looking cat on the far side of the canal. “Where is Peanut?” Of course it was the Nut out there. We untied the front of the boat (noone was moving so this was ok) and punted the bow to the other side to collect our silly little boy. Let’s just say he is absorbant. It took all day and well into the evening for him to dry out and he hid out onboard with no attempt to got out again for a couple of days. The second time was two weeks ago at the time of writing. He was on the gunnels and trying to go around the open duck hatch doors and lost his footing. We hear his little feet deperately trying to get the footing back which I imagine is what the Road Runner running in place for a moment before zooming off would sound. Then the splash. I ran to the bow and Katie ran to the duck hatch. Peanut swam to Kat and she scooped him up and in. Again stayed in the rest of the day a bit shell shocked.
Has Peanut always been a boat kitty? No. He is 15 years old on the verge of 16 now and has only been a boat kitty since November. Old cats can learn new tricks. He has always been a more outside type of cat but not a water cat.
So when we were away for the MK 24 we had a family friend boat sit and watch Peanut as we couldn’t leave him home alone. He may be a tiny God but he needs companionship and food. Alana took lots of pictures of him which I will share above. I honestly think Alana should look into becoming a pet photographer as she is clearly very talented.