|Clawed on the gangway. Photo by Pat Herron|
Her name was actually Clawed E. Balls (you'll figure out the middle name in a minute), and like most cats, she was adept at recognizing those who disliked her kind. Shortly after her arrival, she decided to jump onto our ship manager Ed's lap, When he grabbed her up to dislodge her, she tried to stay put--the crew got a good laugh, and she got a name.
But we weren't laughing when she went into heat as we traveled up the coast from San Francisco to Portland. As crew member Pat Herron puts it, she "drove the crew bonkers with her incessant howling while blocking the main passageway with her butt high in the air." Once we put into port, we lobbied Ed to get her fixed. No one wanted to go to sea for months with a cat in heat.
Pat remembers Clawed's return: "The ship was packed with visitors from stem to stern when Clawed came on deck after Ed brought her back after the vet visit. I had climbed into the crow's nest and caught the entirety of the ensuing action.
"A visitor had brought his terrier-sized dog onboard and they had made their way onto the main deck at the mast base when Clawed saw the dog. She fluffed, yowled, arched her back and took off after the dog hissing and chasing it around Ed, through the crowd, up the ladder to the bridge deck, onto the gangway and off the boat. It happened almost as quick as it takes to read this. Ed was still on the main deck, wondering what the heck just happened. He didn't complain about Clawed very much after that."
That's how the ship's cat earned Ed's grudging respect, despite having initially gotten off on the wrong, er, foot.
And (unlike me), Clawed never got seasick, either.
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