One week ago, Tigger fell in the water at the dock. We don't know exactly what happened because we didn't see it, but we think he sneaked through an area that wasn't zipped all the way and ended up on the swim platform. From there, he probably just stepped right off into the water. Seems crazy, I know, but really why would he have any concept of the fact that he would be surrounded by water? He's lived on land his entire life. I did research the day after it happened and this is not uncommon.
(People have asked us if we ever brought the cats on the boat with us before buying this boat. While that seems like a fun idea - just think about the preparation needed for that. It's not like bringing a dog on a boat. Not only do you need food for the cat but also a litter box which is a whole other story.)
Let me back up and say that we thought we had done everything possible to prevent the cats from falling in. There was one area of the boat that was a problem and gave the cats access to trouble:
|This is our "front door."|
We found him under the dock. Doug saw his face briefly but I only saw his paw reach around the floating dock supports. We couldn't get to him until we unscrewed three dock boards. His head was dry but the rest of him was soaked. Any of you who know Baltimore Harbor water will understand when I say that I immediately brought him into a shower. Doug then showered him again using shampoo.
This also happened to a previous boat neighbor of ours. They found their cat two days later on a board underneath the floating dock. I'm still cursing myself for the fact that it happened but I'm grateful that we found him so quickly. I could never have slept knowing that my baby was out there somewhere.
He's been fine all week and (hopefully) he has learned his lesson. I'm thinking about putting both cats in life jackets and dumping their paws in the water on a nice day so that they both learn quickly. I know this was inevitable but I really didn't think it would happen within a week of moving in. Tigger has lost one of his nine lives thanks to his curiosity.
In other cat news, we took them out for their first cruise this weekend. This time they both wore their life jackets. The sound of the blower freaked them out a bit. (For non-boating readers, the blower moves air through the engine compartment so fumes from the fuel are quickly dissipated.) The sound of the engines freaked them out even more. I sat with them in the cabin while Doug started everything and tried my best to calm them. They stuck close by me and I kept petting them to reassure them.
I had to leave them in the cabin to help get the boat out of the slip. Once safely away from the dock, they were allowed to explore. Their curiosity was a blessing this time as they both joined us at the helm for the ride.
They have since both recovered from the trip and are fully enjoying their life in the sun:
Any tips on keeping them from traveling to other boats when we are rafted up (other than keeping them fully enclosed)?