The Dragonfly Slayer

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Now I remember what it was that I liked so much about Melanie Cove. As I mentioned in my last post, there were a few dragonflies buzzing around causing a big distraction for me. They are almost as big as a small bird here! Yes I know they are beneficial insects and feed on those annoying little mosquitoes that bite the humans and leave big itchy red bumps on their skin, but they are just too much fun to try and catch. And I caught one!

 

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It was fun for a little while but then it stopped moving and didn’t want to play anymore. Eventually the humans took it away and I had to go find another one. I tried and I tried. Whenever the humans saw one fly by, there I was right behind it, up and over the decks of Minstrel or the boat rafted next to us,  trying not to let it out of my sight and fall overboard at the same time. I’m not sure, but I think the dragonflies were trying to get me to slip and land in the water. Wasn’t going to happen. Too bad dragonfly catching wasn’t on the Canada 150 Playlist. Neither is shake a paw, high five, and sit. Guess I’m not going to win a purrize.

This evening, the humans went out in Jester the dinghy and joined the other humans to perform what they call “dinghy ballet”. Once they get all side tied to each other, they cruise through the anchorage as one unit. Along the way, the dinghies on each end are responsible for executing a pirouette: a 360 degree turn with one dinghy in reverse and the other in forward. A little accompanying reggae music and refreshments completes the stage for more silly human tricks. I went with them 3 years ago, so I didn’t feel the need to go again. Plus the humans forgot to bring my life jacket.

I’ve had a very active day today and feel the need for a long nap. Let me know what keeps you active. Paw paw for now.

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Motion Monday: Swan, Dog, Duck, Goose!

This year Easter was early, and with it was my human mom’s birthday and our first cruise of the year. (Since she forgot my birthday we don’t really need to know about hers.) Destination Union Steamship Marina on Bowen Island is about a 2 hour journey for Minstrel from our marina in Port Moody. About halfway there we’d left the more sheltered and calmer waters of Burrard Inlet and became exposed to the Strait of Georgia when I suddenly didn’t feel so good.  My human was watching me for “the signs” and as soon as she saw them, in true mom style she whisked me up in a blanket and sat outside in the fresh air with me. After about an hour I felt so much better.

IMG_5016IMG_5030We were there for four weather perfect days. Although my human dad didn’t win the Crabmeister contest, he didn’t disappoint either with a decent catch of both crabs and prawns. He’s my Easter bunny hero. The boats on either side of us had dogs. Peaches was on our port side and Tank was on our starboard. Except for when the dogs left for walks, I mostly behaved and stayed on our boat and greeted all who walked by. My furiend Krypto the yellow (but white) lab was there and came over to say hi, and I also met a new furiend, a white husky whose name I can’t remember but was very interested in meeting me since apparently she’d never seen a cat before. She seemed nice and was a big hit with all the humans.

IMG_5049IMG_5019I spent much of my time on the anchor board, my favourite place at the bow of Minstrel, watching the shore or whatever flew or swam by in front of me. I saw several ducks swimming by who didn’t pay any attention to me,  but what did notice me was a big bird I had never seen before. My human call it a swan and his name is Oscar. He lives at the marina and is not shy around humans, probably because of all the treats they give him especially after they hear the sad story about his mate dying. He seems friendly enough but he does make me feel a little nervous.

Last but not least are those annoying geese. I was trying to take a nice little cat nap when a big ruckus started up outside. The honking of one goose I can handle, but when there’s four of them, I had to go out and let them know I wasn’t impressed. Geese can be very noisy especially during mating season. The worst part was the strange long drawn out ohms between honks. My human thought it was rather funny and took this video.

Our next cruise will be the long weekend in May and close to home. I hear there’s going to be a Gilligan’s Island costume theme with a 3 hour dinghy cruise scavenger hunt. In the meantime, I’m still hoping to get some more votes during the BC SPCA 2017 Calendar Contest, and there’s one more week left. A big thank you to those that donated and voted to support a very good cause including my friend and cat mom Ellen Pilch.

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Motion Monday: Not Your Average Rescue Kitty

Meowee furiends, it’s been a few months since my last post. I had my 3rd birthday a couple of months ago in February and my humans forgot. To those who left a few good suggestions on my Facebook page about what I should do (to my humans) about that, I thank you, they helped me feel better.

Just before I show you a video of my new furiend Nacho, let me first say that he is one lucky little kitty. Not only was he rescued from under a truck in Mexico half dead, but his humans, who happen to be friends with my humans, will be bringing him back to their home here on the BC west coast where he will become a boat cat like me. And I just found out he’ll be flying in next week! I can hardly wait to show him the ropes…wait, I mean lines.

It’s not easy for street cats to survive, anywhere, even harder for kittens, and by the sounds of it, Nacho probably wouldn’t have survived if not for the quick action and kind heart of a compassionate human who made the effort to prevent that from happening. Apparently it was touch and go. But as you will see, look just how well Nacho recovered. He’s a fighter.

Bringing pets from one country to another is not simple either. Once I find out the story of Nacho’s journey from Mexico to Canada, including vet certificates, airline requirements and other paperwork, I will report back.

I really hope we’ll get along when we finally get to meet. He’s already good buds with his furiend Toby the Chihuahua as you will see in this video. I’m sure they will miss each other but don’t be sad because Nacho will be going back to Mexico for the winter and they will be together again. So without further ado, I present Nacho…

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Meow On A Sailboat

Look at meow! I’m on a sailboat! No we didn’t buy a new boat. I just borrowed this one for an impromptu photo opp. Whenever we’re at the marina to clean Minstrel or to socialize with their friends, my humans  let me outside somewhat by myself. So what did they expect I’d do? Sit around on the deck of our boat and be content to just look at my surroundings? Ha, silly humans. So when I spied this little sailboat with the green canvas I thought to myself, “how fun would it be to send my good buddy, Bailey Boat Cat, a photo of me on a boat like his!” …and here I am.

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When my absence was finally realized, which didn’t take long, over she strode all mother-hen like to shush me back to our boat. But when our eyes met and she realized where I was, in that instance I knew she thought the exact same thing I had. Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out the camera and the photo session began. Of course I went with it. My plan was working.

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And there you have it. I came, I saw, I conquered….and I was ready to get off. I hope you like my photos Bailey. Now, what ploy can I come up with to get on that boat over there….

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Writing 101 Day 14: Write a post that takes place during one single day. Recreating a single day doesn’t automatically mean describing every detail. This assignment is very much about editing — and focusing on the right details. Zoom in even further, limiting yourself to just one hour of your chosen day.

Oh Those Sneaky Geese

“Ahoy?” During my deck patrol I heard a suspicious sound and went to investigate. There was definitely something swimming around in the water at the back of the boat.

No answer, but there it was again!

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Maneuvering closer I repeated: “Ahoy?!”

Still no answer. My curiosity got the better of me and I just had to look….

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Oh it’s just those marina geese sneaking by on their sunset tour. Maybe they think I’m one of them and want me to join them, or maybe they’re trying to taunt me into chasing them. Either way, I’m not getting in that water!

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Writing 101 Day 13: Play with word count. For those who’d like to aim for a specific word count, take a look at some 100-word stories at 100 Word Story, or Reader’s Digest list of winning 100-Word True Stories, then take a stab at your own.

I’m So Gull-ible

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The weather, forecasted to be gray and rainy, unexpectedly turned out to be sunny and dry. After our Remembrance Day Service at Belcarra Regional Park yesterday, we returned to our Marina for a bit of an afternoon dock party. The humans set out their deck chairs, furnished a few deck tables with appetizers, and enjoyed the glorious afternoon together.

I was almost allowed to roam at will, but the humans were a little further away from our boat Minstrel than I was comfortable with and instead I started trespassing on a few boats in between. That ended with me getting closed up inside Minstrel for the rest of the day, which was okay because it was my nap time anyways.

But what really caught my attention just before then was the dock leading the other way, along the marina’s breakwater, that was standing room only for a flock of seagulls. My oh my, if I could only join that party! I did try. I lowered my body as low as it would go and almost floated across the dock as I skulked towards them. Unfortunately they have really keen eyesight, and as if on cue a large section of them closest to me just flew up in the air, only to land a little further down the dock. They weren’t ever going to let me get too close. Mom didn’t like the look of the big mess of fresh runny poop they left behind and shushed meow back to boat before meow, or her, could step in any of it. But what a rush though.

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Here on the west coast of North America we have the western gull (Larus occidentalis). Did you know that an older name for gulls is mew? In German it’s Möwe, Danish måge, Dutch meeuw, and French mouette. These gulls typically live for 15-25 years. One of a gulls favourite food are mussels which are readily available to them at this time of year along the docks at the waterline. They carry the shelled morsels up into the air and drop them onto hard surfaces, a method used to crack them open. We are constantly finding empty black shells, and sometimes crab shells, all over Minstrel’s decks. Clever, but messy birds.

My human said she had read a rather humorous news article about a lady in Paignton, Devon (a small town in England) who reported having about 50 golf balls dropped on her house one summer by seagulls. They probably saw the balls as potential food, but then gulls see most things as potential food. Clever yes, but not so smart.

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Writing 101 Day 10: So far, we’ve found inspiration from our own experiences, images, words, and more. Today, let’s quietly observe the world around us and write about what we see. Find a spot where you can sit and observe for at least 20 minutes: a bench at a park, shopping mall, or museum; from inside your car in a parking lot; or even a place close to home, like your front porch. Ideally, it’s a location where you can watch action and interaction in a setting (between people, wildlife, weather, etc.) Don’t be afraid to take risks! Your response can be purely nonfiction and be an exact report of what you see, or a piece of creative nonfiction that uses storytelling elements (like point of view, pacing, and dialogue) to shape a more dramatic narrative.

Happy Halloween, Twenty Fifteen

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Halloween Boat Cat
Yup, Floating On A Ghost Ship
Has Risen Again

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This photo was of me sitting on top of the settee cushion at window level on our boat Minstrel as we were leaving our marina, but the background scene in the window was of an ugly oil refinery, so we were very pleased with how a little cropping and a couple of photo effect apps totally blotted that aspect out. First we uploaded the iphone photo into PHO.TO and selected the Realistic Photomontage-> Catoptromancy effect. It needed a bit of a frame finish so then we uploaded it Pixlr.com and applied the Wave effect and Tiny Frame.

And I couldn’t resist a quick Halloween Haiku to go with it. Happy Halloween 2015!!

A shout out in honour of Penelope, The Cat From Hell who designed this pumpkin for me last year!
Thanks again Nellie!

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There Once Was A Cat On A Boat

There once was a cat on a
       boat,

On top of the sea she did
      float,

Writing memoirs in her
      blog,

Until she hit a
      log

And that was all
      she wrote.

 

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Basically I just hit enter (kind of feels like cheating)…there was no way to rearrange the words to make it stay as 5 lines, so 10 it is.


Day 4 Poetry 101: Write a poem about the imperfect nature of someone or something in the form of a Limerick. Limericks are traditionally composed of five lines of verse. The traditional rhyming scheme of a limerick is a a b b a. It carries with it connotations of frivolity, light-hearted entertainment, and, well, lots of drinking. Today’s poetic device is all about the arrangement of words on the page, and how that arrangement affects the pace of our reading: enjambment: when a grammatical sentence stretches from one line of verse to the next.

Messing About In A Boat

There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.

— Kenneth Grahame, Writer – The Wind In The Willows

IMG_2438And that’s exactly what I do. I mess about in a boat along with my humans and their boat friends. We call our group gatherings a “raftup” but another term “messabout” was used for an event in 1990 for the beginning of the Southern California Small Boat Messabout Society, SCSBMS. In the UK, “banter” is used especially in the canals. It doesn’t really matter what it’s called, it’s all the same… the emphasis will be more on talk and camaraderie than actually doing anything constructive.

These are a couple of photos from our Memorial Day long weekend cruise back in May of this year. Seventeen boats rafted together. We called it the Backyard Bash Cruise because this time the location was not far from our marina in local waters. Normally the group cruises across the Georgia Strait to Gabriola Island in the Gulf Islands but human dad felt that was too far to go for just a weekend, even if it was a long one. So we never went.

IMG_2430Our cruise master organized a pirate dinghy poker run and the silly humans frivolously dressed themselves and their dinghies in pirate fashion.  Not me though. Human mom forgot to bring my pirate hats. She had bought 2 of them last year from a Halloween clearance bin because she couldn’t decide which one she liked better. Guess what I’ll be this Halloween. To play, the humans were given some clues to find the location of 5 “stations” on the water where they would get a random playing card to create a poker hand. The winners won a share of the booty (ante). My humans didn’t win, but seemed to have a lot of fun in the process.

Our official cruise schedule for the year is over now. Minstrel is still waiting for one of her sick cats (engines) to recover before we can go boating again anyways. In a couple of weeks we will be taking the students from the boating course out on a day cruise. The students get to put theory into practice and actually plot the course, with paper and pen using paper charts, and take us from the marina to a nearby bay. If all goes well we will arrive in time for lunch and an afternoon to just mess about nothing.

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Writing 101 Day 7: Today, use a quote or passage from something you’ve read to introduce your post. You’ll see a similar technique at the beginning of a book or chapter in the form of an epigraph.

True Catfessions: Where I Write

whereIwriteComing to you live, from the entertainment capital of my house, is today’s post!  Yes, shockingly (or not) most of my writing is done in the TV room. During the day when the humans are at work, it’s actually a very peaceful den. Let me take you on a quick tour, and then please fill out a short poll at the end.

Dark red walls (darker than in this photo), were inspired by the colors of Vancouver Canucks hockey team, and compliments the light brown wall-to-wall carpet,  butter yellow couches, and the mottle of a reddish-brown brick fireplace. A mix of nautical and sports themed pictures and keepsakes adorn the walls, mantle, and matching black coffee and side tables. Those wide-slatted wooden horizontal blinds, covering the large ground level front window, diffuses the bright light by day and adds privacy by night. The extra-wide window ledge, overlooking a small garden bed, is purrfect for full-body lounging when I need to take a break. From there I can watch any street activities, or furiends looking for a drink from the garden’s stone-edged water feature.

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