7 years ago we adopted two fluffy little balls of big ears and paws named Pretty Girl and Killer Man. The two kittens rapidly forged themselves a solid place in our homes and became part of the family. Years later, they have come along for the ride as we travel. Its been a good life for them. Cats are adaptable creatures and have made the boat their home quite nicely. When we stop in at the occasional marina they jump down on the docks to explore, but always come home when its time to eat and sleep. On passage they cuddle up with whoever is is off watch and at anchor lounge on the bimini watching the world go by.
These past couple of days have been the first time in a long time I’ve been worried about their health and safety on board. It seems that mother nature set June 1 as the exact date to switch the heat on and declare summer in full effect. Our cabin thermometer has been pushing up over 98 degrees every day and a hot, hot desert wind is blowing off the land so there is little relief until the sun goes down at 8:30pm.
The heat is uncomfortable, but OK for Brian and I. We lounge in the cockpit and frequently jump into the water to cool off. Brian declares the water to be “an infinite heat sink”, and we clock up hours just drifting around near the stern of the boat. If it was just the two of us, we would keep on keeping on.
The creatures however, do not possess our love of the water and its heat sinking properties. Its cute when they start sleeping on the floor and laying stretched out on their backs. Its worrisome when they start to breathe fast and become listless. I call the game when they both pant open mouthed and look at me with miserable eyes and floppy, droopy ears. Pretty girl gets a wet down with a damp sponge which seems to help, though she is NOT pleased with the process. I’m more worried about Killer Man, so he gets a full on dousing in the shower. He’s also not terribly pleased with the process, but the panting stops almost immediately and he perks up nicely.
While I’m writing this in Bahia Conception, we have zero internet connectivity, so I’m not sure of the long term repercussions of twice daily showers for a cat. It doesn’t seem like a sustainable solution though, so I’m calling an audible on our plans for now. Its just not fair to the critters to subject them to this heat in the name of fun for us. So, instead of continuing north to Santa Rosalita and Bahia Los Angelos next, we will cross the sea in the next couple of days for San Carlos. We will check into the marina, get an AC that can run off the dock power, and regroup.