Adventures of s/v WILD HAIR


Our land life took on form, solidity, routine. We had mastery of a limited set of skills. We had habitual expectations of others and ourselves. Going sailing, we let go of our attachments to our roles, views, and rituals. We persist because we are growing in this shapeless and dynamic world.

Friday, July 17, 2009


“Dave,” I sighed, “you’re just not cuddly enough.”

This was my (Heather’s) argument for why we needed a boat cat. Dave had no ammunition to argue against my logic. He is cuddly, just not enough.

I am a pet person. As we make our home offshore, my need to nurture and take care of another creature remains unchanged. Dave is pretty self-sufficient and doesn’t need a whole lot of care. So, I did my homework.

I spoke with other boat cat owners and learned that (like people) cats can experience seasickness; they throw up, feel better, and acclimate. I researched pet import requirements for Caribbean nations and policies for returning to the United States. Sure, the paperwork and veterinary requirements are staggering but well worth the trouble. I checked with various airlines regarding pet carry-on rules and found that the fees nearly equal that of a third person’s ticket. But, these disadvantages did not make Dave cuddlier!

Happily, Dave acquiesced.

Today, we are proud parents of an adorable Humane Society kitten born April 6, 2009: “Dinghy” of sailing vessel WILD HAIR. Anticipating her unusual life-style, we took steps to make sure she travels well. Daily in Madison, Dinghy ran errands with me in her special pet back pack. You’d be surprised by people’s reaction to meowing-sounds in Home Depot. Although she doesn’t walk on a leash, she now tolerates its imposed limitations. Importantly, she has a perfect litter box track record.

Dinghy is cuddly. She sleeps on or near my head at night and curls in my lap by day. She has a devilishly playful personality and loves her toys, dragging them about the house and returning them to her toy box when finished. Like a dog, she comes when she's called. Even Dave is wooed by her charms. However, Captain Dave is reserving final judgment until he sees how well she does on WILD HAIR.

To be continued….

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