Let's set the record straight. My staff, John and Laurie, may own and run the boat but I am in charge. I let them think that they are in charge; that is the hallmark of a great boss, the staff feel like they have the power but they really don't. What John and Laurie are correct about is when they call me the Admiral. I love it, but I don't let it show. I do grace them with my presence and love it when I lay on their lap and my ears get scratched. They are also pretty good about giving full length back rubs.
Its all in the Routine
You have to train your staff right. Otherwise, like John teaches at his leadership seminars: you deserve what you tolerate. I demand that my food and water be in the same place; I don't want to go looking for it. That is just too rude. I also want food available all the time. When I have the munchies, I just eat; no waiting and no complaining. I was raised on canned food and will still run to the galley at the sound of a can being opened but I have tolerated the introduction of dry food. I get both, eat what I want, when I want it. The staff says that it is easier for storage. Fine.
I get pills everyday and make the staff do a convincing show that the treats are really worth it.
The litter box is sacred territory. I demand that it be clean and in a private place. It is in the cave. The staff is pretty good about preserving the required dignity.
Doing What You Want But Doing It Safely
I am fine with boating. I get to be with the staff and also enjoy my own kind of adventures. I have a special blanket that I hang out on while the staff is operating the boat. It smells like me and it is mine. Oh, I also have a scratching pad on the floor that is wonderfully laced with catnip. I will exercise my claws, rip up some cardboard and then just "zen" out on the pad and inhale deeply. Life is good.
Inside the tug, I jump around from the floor to the table, to the area behind the front windows. I love to explore the cave and any cabinets that I find opened.
The outside world can be pretty cool. I usually go for a walk on the top of the cabin but I found out the hard way that the screens on the hatch windows will not support my weight. How embarrassing to fall into the cabin on the dinette table! Not the kind of entrance that I like to make. I love docks but prefer to stay on the boat if there are people about. People, some are fine but some are not, and why risk a surprise? Dogs, now that is another topic. I will take on most dogs any day of the week but I prefer not to. So, when I hear one or smell one, which is very easy because, you know, they are dogs; I just hunker down and stay on the tug.
But sometimes the smells can just be too tempting. Like in Tennessee, when the wonderful odor of wild cats and raccoons was in that place between the float and the dock decking. I just jumped from a boat's swim step into this pathway. So, I ran the length of the dock while my staff yelled and ran, calling my name, and just being embarrassing. They hauled me out when a marina employee brought a crow bar and pried up the concrete decking. It was cool but a little scary. Of course, I would never let the staff know.
Then, there were the lilly pads in Mississippi. Ok, cut me some slack here because in the Pacific Northwest, where I live, there are no lilly pads. I had been on the boat for almost an eternity when I got to explore a dock that had no boats or people around. Next to the dock was this huge area of green lilly pads that went clear to the shore. Lilly pads looked liked a kind of grass to me; so I jumped onto them. Bad idea. Yes, I can swim and the staff was right there to haul me out and dry me off. I probably worked for an hour to clean my coat and that wore me out. Enough said on that topic.
You have to know where the next dock is
This boat is small, so at every dock, I take the opportunity to explore, stretch my legs and check out the world; provided there are no dogs or kids around. One thing I like about the boat over the travel trailer is the multi-level-floor, cushions, table, window ledge with all sorts of different passage ways. The Ranger 25 has ton of storage in it, so I love it when doors are left open; great smells and great spaces to explore.
Nothing is better than polar-fleece
Sleeping is my most favorite thing. The staff have done a good job in providing me with a lot of polar-fleece to choose from. I have my fleece on the table top for napping while cruising, but favorite place is the "nest" in the V-berth where the whole world is one big, soft, warm and quiet place to just sack out. Under the covers is best because what you don't see or hear, you don't have to worry about.