Ken Goodings and Lynn Kaak moved aboard their Niagara 35, moored in Toronto Harbour, in the fall of 2003, after “selling up” and committing to the liveaboard life. With reports from Ken and Lynn, we shall follow their adjustment to this lifestyle and their continuing adventures
Hunter the Dock Cat
On many occasions last spring and summer, one or more island raccoons walking along the deck of our boat at night would wake us. They come on board to find food, or to just poop in the cockpit. That hasn’t happened to us yet!
I always yell and squirt them with a pump bottle of vinegar water with which we clean the toilet. It’s a reasonably effective and eco-friendly cleaner? It’s exceptionally effective for repelling varmint boarders.
Again one night we heard the sound of little footsteps on deck. I grabbed the vinegar water bottle, leaned out into the cockpit and took careful aim at two pointy ears in the semi-darkness. I let go a great blast of vinegar water spray, right on target!
With a loud meow we saw a large white cat leaping onto the dock and bounding away in disgust. “Sorry Hunter” I cried!
It wasn’t a raccoon at all, but our friendly dock cat Hunter. He often delighted in sleeping on deck at night or inside neighbouring boats if given a chance. He belonged to one of the households on Wards Island. “Hunter” stalked toads, frogs, mice and other rodents all night, sleeping on boats during the warm summer days. We fed him kitty snacks and that’s why he came around so early in the mornings at “0h-dark-30”
’Ol Hunter was back the next day; I guess he had a short memory.
Now I know the difference between raccoon and cat footsteps. Cats normally have their claws retracted and are pretty quiet when walking. Raccoons, like dogs, have claws, which scratch the deck loudly as they walk along.
Hunter exacted his revenge later that summer. Stealing silently aboard one hot night, he crept into the cockpit and reached one paw through the open port in our berth. When Hunter gently touched me on the bare knee I woke with a start, banging my head on the low ceiling!
Lynn Kaak Silverheels III – You can catch up with Lynn and Ken’s blog at – The Voyages of Silverheels III
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