Saturday started as a usual loop of errands and ended watching a movie with our new feline crew mate, Cypress.

During our time in the Bay and along the route, we met several seafaring cats enjoying a sublime existence aboard their floating cat condos. We have a longer stretch in San Diego and plenty of secluded sailing up ahead down the Baja Peninsula, so the time was right.

As I’m sure this typically goes, we popped into PetSmart’s National Pet Adoption Week event to “look” and were greeted with several friendly cats, including a buff tabby named Buffy. We explained our living situation and the volunteer felt she would be a good fit due to her confidence and playfulness. We took it as a omen that she shared a name with our favorite Alameda Maker Farm chicken too.

Scott and Buffy in our old workshop at the Maker Farm. She was the lone chicken for about year, before we grew the flock to 20+ hens with several friends. Tending the chickens, ducks, pigs, and cats of the farm was a highlight of 2020 and we’ve been missing animal companions in our nomadic pursuits.

We filled the application and headed back to Azimuth with fingers crossed. A couple hours later we received a text from the shelter confirming our interest and an exciting “when would you like to pick her up?” followed by “Tonight? Tomorrow? We’re here until 7.”

We quickly swept the boat through the lens of cat-proofing, hopped in the skiff, checked the tide, buried the anchor, and took a ride back to the strip mall. After filling some paperwork, we drove the sweet kitty around in the shopping cart, selecting all the new cat essentials. I won’t soon forget Scott leaning down to ask her what she’d like for dinner from the three aisles of cat food.

Once back on the boat, her exploration began. She loves to hop on the companionway stairs for the sights and sounds and has expanded her turf to include cockpit. Seeing her comfort and confidence grow by the hour has been so joyful. Her tendency to relax nearby has heightened the experience of dishwashing and computer tasks, and she’s already encouraged us to take a few cat naps.

After trying out “Buffy” for a few days, we couldn’t shake the connection to our sweet chicken friend and started brain storming. We consulted the indexes of a few books on our shelf – Sailing Essentials, Stars and Planets, How to Read Water, and Clouds and Weather – and found several near-fits. Scott suggested a light wood, like oak, maple, or cypress.

Monterey Cypress are endemic to a small span of coastline, and are known to be highly salt and wind tolerant. Their branches are shaped by wind along the coast, and we figure the three of us will all be shaped by the winds to come.

Shoutout to Two the Horizon, Q+M Travels, and Sailing Avocet for answering all our litter box questions.

Published by Ash

Knitter, sailor, and sewist on the move from San Francisco to the Chesapeake Bay aboard a 36' sailboat named Azimuth.

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