There's a friendly black and white cat that lives here at the yacht club. She gets a pat or a head rub from several passersby each day. Certainly, I never pass by without giving her a scratch. She doesn't have a proper name although Diane in the marina office calls her Daisy. I see her every morning waiting at the front door of the yacht club for her breakfast which is served promptly at 0800. I caught up with her for a chat the other morning … after breakfast was inhaled … to ask a few questions.
Q: Daisy, where do you hail from? are you a local Cape Town cat? A: Can't you tell by my accent? I'm definitely a South African cat … born and bred here in Cape Town, destined to be just another feral cat, until I got a full-time job here at the yacht club.
Q: How long have you lived at the yacht club? A: I'm not really sure; I just always remember being here. Some of the members say it's been at least 7 or 8 years, maybe longer. Time flies. That's more than 50 years if you're a cat … over half a cat century.
Q: Pardon my directness, but I noticed you have a, shall I say, “gnarly” ear. Can you tell me that story? A: There was a huge rat, twice my size, in the marina one time. I stalked him for days, waiting for just the right moment to pounce. Size didn't matter … I'm a vicious cat … he was a rat. I got him, but not without a few battle scars. Yup, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Don't believe that other story floating around about a seagull.
(In actuality, I learned that when the local SPCA neuters cats in South Africa, they notch their ears to identify them. Daisy is a spayed female.)
Q: I notice you hang out by the rum barrel quite often. Do you have a drinking problem? A: Nah, I'm not allowed to drink on duty (though I do a little catnip once in a while). This spot gives me the best vantage point for watching food come out of the club. I used to be able to go inside and folks would buy me a plate of bacon, but the rules have tightened up. Rats! Now I have to sit out here and wait for my opportunity to grab a snack. It's so unworthy of a cat, you know what I mean?
Q: You're the only cat around here … do you ever get lonely? A: Lonely? No … this is a one-cat yacht club and I'm the cat. Lots of people stop to give me a pat or a rub as they pass, which I tolerate quite well, I think. Why would I want competition?
Q: What do you do all day? A: What a stupid question. I do cat stuff. I eat, preen, sleep, preen, poop, preen ... in that order. Once in awhile I act like I'm chasing something. It makes the humans feel safer that I'm here and justified my full-time position.
Q: We had a cat named Jelly and she enjoyed sailing with us. Do you like to sail? A: Blah … blah... blah. I'm really not interested. (Yawn) No bacon? (Yawn) No snacks? Hmm … I'm exhausted … time for a nap.