Boat Cat


While wrenching at a Chevrolet dealership in Salem, Oregon a gray, female cat was abandoned. Being the new guy, Tom didn’t know the former mechanic who drove into the garage to bid farewell to his friends.

“We are headed for Florida. Piss on this weather. Oh, and have a cat,” he said, opening the door and setting her on the concrete floor. And then he drove away.

Tom’s an easy mark for unfortunate animals, so he kept an eye on her, thinking maybe one of his friends might take the cat in. But no one else noticed the poor animal’s plight. As the day wore on a promised snow storm began showing its frigid face with a Temperature plunging some thirty degrees and sent a few warning flakes. The parts man gave Tom an empty cardboard box. With that in hand he  gathered the cat and took her to his  VW bus.

By quitting time the storm and deposited four inches of snow and Interstate 5 was clogged with disabled vehicles. Tom wasn’t sure he could make it the forty miles home, but he chained up and gave it a shot, arriving home three hours late.

The kids were delighted to see a cat and within a half-hour they agreed she should be called Smirfette. Life marched on. Winter eventually surrendered to spring and spring became summer. With summer came a vacation.

As Tom prepared the boat for a fishing trip he discovered Smirfette had given birth to five kittens and the entire family lived beneath the covered bow. Carefully, he made a new, sheltered place for them in the car port.

All vacation things packed and ready when Tom arrived home Friday evening. Loading up and hooking up the boat didn’t take long. Tom slept lightly, and by 0200 hours they were westbound, headed for Lake Tahkenitch. Arrival time: dawn.

Everything went on schedule. As soon as gray dawn permitted, they launched the boat and motored toward a point where trolling had produced planter trout during a previous trip. However, before reaching their destination five hungry kittens emerged from beneath the covered bow. They had no choice but to pull the boat and head for Florence for baby formula and a pair of socks to serve as nipples.

All five kittens survived to find new homes except a solid black one that had earned the name Boat Cat, and wore it well.