One of the boatyard cats became pregnant and had two kittens a few weeks ago. Actually several of the boatyard cats became pregnant and had kittens. Thanks to the very randy black male cat that lives in the yard.
Most of the cats just get on with their business, have their kittens and carry on as normal, sometimes with one of the larger cats feeding the younger cats’ kittens. They are quite social but they also seem to live in defined packs. And if a cat doesn’t belong in that pack it’s not welcome.
You’ll find out why she’s recently acquired that name in a moment.
Barbie is a pretty, dainty, black and white cat with longish fur and a nature that makes us all wonder if she hasn’t at some point been owned by a little old lady who has perhaps died, leaving Barbie to fend for herself on the street. This cat is simply adorable. She is polite, obedient and loving to the point that if you have an ounce (≃ 28 grams) of cat lover within you, you’ll want to cuddle her.
So a few weeks ago, there she was, pregnant and about to give birth and she did what most cats do: she looked for a safe, cosy place to have her kittens.
The house that Bob built
Enter Andrea who has a very large soft spot for cats, and her husband Bob, who at the time were living on their yacht on the hard in the boatyard. Barbie tried to find a place on their boat to give birth, which of course wasn’t practical for lots of reasons, so a makeshift place was found while Bob made a cardboard house where the cat could feel safe and secure. I was fortunate enough to film the kittens when they were two hours old – so cute!!
The house that Bob built looks like a cat mansion. Or a Barbie house. So now you know where mummy cat gets her name!
Andrea doted on mum, and cared for her and the kittens as if they were hers. But of course, Andrea and Bob were due to leave the boatyard and Andrea requested a management plan, to ensure the kittens remained safe, mum had enough food while she was feeding the kittens and they weren’t an imposition on the boatyard owners. The couple found a great hiding place at the back of one of the studio blocks and the Barbie house was installed, hidden and waterproofed with some ‘tarpaulin’. Renate (another boatie friend) and I were charged with taking over the feeding duties until we both leave around the beginning of July.
Fast forward to this week, and the kittens are three weeks old and faring well.
Barbie is a great mum and a very appreciative pussy, almost sensing how well she’s being treated compared to the other boatyard cats. And shows her gratitude with lots of adorable cuddles and the obligatory ‘paw kneading’ which leaves many tiny holes in my legs (due to the length of her claws).
Obviously once we leave, Barbie will have to return to fending for herself along with the other cats in the yard – she has managed well enough over the last year or two since she arrived to make Renate and me confident that she’ll be fine.
The other cats don’t seem to appreciate that she gets special treatment though, although Renate and I do try and give them all a little food along with Barbie. We are both confident that she will survive satisfactorily once we’ve both left. Plus, the boatyard owners do feed the animals when there aren’t boaties around who take it upon themselves to do so. We do have a boatie friend who is returning to his yacht at the beginning of July, so we’ll give any unused food to him and ask him to take over until she re-joins the boatyard cat way of life. By that time her kittens will be older and mum will work out how she wants to manage them, in her own nature-driven, cat-survival-instinct way.
An alternative solution
Apart from her reorientating into the boatyard cat society, there is another resolution: find Barbie a new owner. In this week’s video, I give her a bit of a showcase so any potential owner on Evia Island who may watch the video, can see what she’s like. Of course, Greece has an overabundance of cats and finding someone who wants to take on a cat and her kittens is a slim hope, but it would be remiss for us not to seek assistance in the best way that we can – via social media.
If you’re reading this and you’d like to take on Barbie cat and her two adorable kitties, and are prepared to take them to the vets for anti-parasite treatment, and you live near Sipiada, Limni, then do email us from this website!
Lots of boat goodies arrive in two deliveries
That has enabled us to begin prepping the keel for antifouling, and Baz has managed to tick a few jobs off the Boat To Do List. These jobs include:
reinstalling the aft head in the head,
connecting two desulfators to the batteries,
Sikaflexing the hull/keel joint, and
Spraying antifoul onto the prop and shaft
Sikaflexed the fridge seals
Drilling holes in the boat
Another daunting job Baz got around to that he’d been putting off for a while involved drilling two holes into the filler cap of the portside water tank which we couldn’t open as the keyhole had rounded out. Now we are able to fill up both water tanks and can carry 600 litres with us on our travels back to Turkey, which will save the need to stop and top up, which is a great relief.
Friends come and go
It’s been a busy week at the boatyard with two more couples splashing back into the water. Arlo and Konnie left last week, and this week Bob and Andrea, and Mark and Marie also sailed away on their adventures around Greece.
Baz captured some excellent drone footage of some of the comings and goings, also including the arrival of Limni’s dentist Harry, who brought his beautiful wooden yacht to the yard for some maintenance.
A great dentist
On that note, if you are looking for a dentist in Limni I can recommend Harry as he refilled a molar of mine a couple of weeks ago after a large chunk of the tooth broke away. I’m normally terrified of dentists, and can’t bear the pain of the drill hitting a nerve, but I have to say, this fellow is experienced, gentle and did the job without my needing a numbing injection. Thank you dentist Harry!
If you’d like to see the video that inspired this blog just click here.
Until next week, I wish you a very pleasant week and that you get a little closer to your dreams and aspirations.
Link to Aannsha’s next blog