Sunday, January 18, 2009

Breaking in "the new kid."

Izzy has been doing great. After a trip to the vet to get her "fixed" (never thought she was broken) and declawed (front only), we have been getting her used to travel mode... time in the boat and time in the truck. She hasn't seen the 5th wheel yet, but that will happen soon enough. In the meantime, she is developing quite a personality... obvious that she and Joan have a real connection. She likes me best for those few moments before feeding time, but the rest of the time, she likes to sit on Joan's lap. When it's playtime, she can go for hours... wish I could summon up some of that energy.

Our decision to spend the winter in the Tropical Tip has been wise so far... our weather here has been truly kind compared to the rest of the country.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

We've added a new furry family member... meet Isabella, but she will be known as Izzy (unless she's in trouble). We adopted her from the Animal Shelter. We think she is about 7 - 8 months old, but she's tiny - barely 5 pounds. Not an unusual situation with shelter animals.

She started shy, but within 24 hours has come into her own. Izzy spent most of her previous life in a 3x3 cage, so she didn't have great running and jumping skills. We are working on her "hunting" skills and she has progressed exponentially in the week she has been a part of our family.

Prior to New Year's Eve, she has been out on the boat a couple times... short trips in smooth conditions to get her used to boat traveling.

New Year's Eve would be her first overnight on the boat. I'd have to give her a B+... to get an A, she would have had to ask to take the helm and then cried when we told her it was time to head back in. Yeah, that didn't happen.

The wind was blowing in the mid-teens with gusts around 20 when we anchored for the night in the Laguna Madre. We planned to watch the fireworks off South Padre Island. Izzy did fine... had supper, spent some time exploring all the nooks and crannies in the boat, and settled into the v-berth.

The fireworks display was outstanding...

Izzy didn't flinch during that, and we turned in for the night when the fireworks ended (another great thing about anchoring out: you don't have to fight the crowds and the traffic to drive back home after an event). By midnight, the winds had let up quite a bit, and we were gently rocked to sleep by the motion of the boat. All three of us slept well. I got up around 4:30 to check the anchor set (it was fine)... Izzy took that as: time to jump all around the cabin.

We got up for real shortly after sunrise...

Joan made breakfast (always tastes better on the boat), Izzy had chow, and by the time we were ready to head out, the predicted fog had rolled in. Decisions: head out in the fog or wait for it to lift; we have radar and a great chartplotter... we got ready to go.

Izzy had been doing fine up to this point. Joan went to the bow to check the anchor chain as it came up. I hit the button for the electric windlass, and Izzy's eyes grew to the size of saucers and she went whacko, looking for an exit! I managed to catch her one nanasecond before she completely disappeared into a small opening behind the fridge. She was not a happy cat. Plenty strong though... she put up a fight more like a full-grown bobcat than a 5 pound kitty. I wrestled her into her carrier and came back to the helm. Joan was still up on the bow, unaware of the hand-to-paw combat I just went through... "So, are you going to finish raising the anchor?"

We made our way home. When I brought Izzy back into the house and let her out of her carrier, she flipped me off and ran under a chair. Not exactly the result I was hoping for, but she did fine right up to the windlass incident... no puking, no howling, no drooling. Next time we go out, I'll warn her before I run the windlass... or use the horn in the fog. ;-)