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Sailing with cats

Sailing with sailing partners ever

In the past, like many, I have been a passionate believer that dogs are the man's best companion.
Then some years ago by chance, I sheltered a very young little black foundling cat in my house. His name was Renò.
A deep friendship was born that I will never forget.
So in the Tunisian winter  end of 2020, the same scene repeated itself to me.

On the street I found a kitten who was perhaps a month old but already very confident and very enterprising. I took her aboard Pius.

Never again would I have thought what a scene Anna would make up to not want her on board: <she's dirty, she has fleas and then how can we sail with her from April on?>
My response was to give her a nice flea bath... she came out a gorgeous kitten. Here is Mustafina .

After only a month I found another one, a red and beautiful male, worthy of a beauty pageant.

It was not possible to take a bath with him. As a true male he brought out the best of his male anger to make us understand that we couldn't do what we wanted with him.
So we introduced LeonCino into our houseboat but Mustafina, despite being female, didn't think for a moment and made him understand that she was the Queen of Pius.

The youngest LeonCino little by little with his Olympian calm which earned him the nickname Retaired, made room for Mustafina's selfishness and after 24 hours of beatings and assaults he became Mustafina's younger brother who looked after him like a son, hugging him during all sleep.

April arrived, time to migrate and leave our beloved Tunisia.
On the 21st we set sail for Trapani. A crossing of 150nm, not long but with absolutely wrong weather forecasts, became after only about twenty miles a difficult crossing, especially for our two new companions who would never have thought that with that navigation they would become real sailor cats.
Apparent wind never less than 25 knots with waves abeam, often close hauled.
Two completely different reactions between our two friends.
Mustafina, who was normally always athletic and bold, spent 18 hours on her sofa motionless in the digestive position, vomiting a little every 4 or 5 hours.
Pensioner LeonCino, on the other hand, went out into the cockpit every 2 or 3 hours to keep me company and to smell the air of the billows that were blowing strongly, often climbing onto the Pius canopy.

In the middle of the night, around 3, in the dark but illuminated by the full moon, he didn't just come to the cockpit but climbed onto the parasea with the boat heeled by over 20° and started looking at the moon low on the horizon. A splendid image that accompanied me until dawn when finally, passing east of Favignana, we landed in the large port of Trapani


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