Magellan Louise Lemay, aka Jelly, JellyBelly, Jells, Jello, was our ship’s cat for seven years. We adopted her from the Seabrook SPCA in Texas the day she was street legal (6 weeks old).
A gray-nosed, white and gray domestic short hair, she had us at “meow”. She moved aboard Nine of Cups with us as our ship’s cat in April 2000 and it was with sincere regret that we opted to leave her with my Mom in 2007 when we decided to sail to New Zealand and Australia.
Jelly was a natural at sea. She got her sea legs almost immediately and got seasick only once in all the time aboard. She was a good sailor. David built her a cat door, so she could go below or go up on deck whenever she pleased. This worked out well when we were off the boat for errands.
Though she never fell overboard at sea, she fell overboard three times when we were in port. Once in Charleston, SC, she was intent on watching sea gulls floating on the water near the boat. Probably figuring she could walk on water, too, she jumped in and found out the hard way that cats do not float. Another time on the dock, she was chased into the water by a fellow cruiser’s loose dogs. She was plucked out by fellow sailor. She did NOT enjoy being wet. Obviously, the nine lives myth was proving true.
We really enjoyed having her aboard. She was fun to play with and good company. Though she was not good at standing watch, she certainly was happy to snuggle up with the off-watch crew for a nap. She did keep birds, moths and other critters off the boat except when she caught them and brought them below.
Quite honestly, she was the best pet we’ve ever had. It might be that the sheer amount of time we spent with her was significantly more than pets we’d had while working full time and raising a family. We certainly developed a closeness with Jelly that we don’t remember having with other pets.
Moving in with my Mom has allowed me to spend time with Jelly again and today was her 13th birthday. We celebrated with a Happy Birthday song sung in falsetto cat voices and a special cat food treat. She’s an old lady now….a teenager if you’re a human, but she’s 74 in cat years. Of course, we all know 74 is the new 60, so really, she’s still a spring kitten.
Jelly still has her own page on the website. Forgive the quality of some of her baby pictures … poor camera … poor photographer!
Having pets aboard has its challenges. Check the blog tomorrow for our take on having Pets Aboard.
|Days and Ways to Celebrate|
|A daily list of mostly obscure holidays and fun ways to celebrate them.|
|On this day in 1693, John Harrison, British clockmaker, was born. It was his lifelong efforts to develop a precision timepiece that would work at sea which allowed sailors to finally be able to calculate longitude. Read Dava Sorbel’s book Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time|
or watch the movie.