March 24, 2000 – September 13, 2014 We were at sea between mainland Australia and the Cocos Keeling Islands when Lin e-mailed us that Jelly had died. I mentioned it in a blog, but I guess we never really gave Jelly her due. When David was writing a blog about fishing recently, I was digging through some photos on my computer and I came across a picture of Jelly “helping” David to fish. As saddened as we were by her death, pictures like this bring back so many good memories. She was one feisty kitty.
Over the years, we've done several blog posts about her. She certainly had a unique life. Most cats do not go to sea, although from our experience, they do quite well on a boat. Jelly never knew anything other than Nine of Cups for the first seven years of her life. She was a pretty good sailor...
but rarely stayed awake during her watch.
She could smell land long before we could see it. She'd pace up and down the deck with her nose in the air, sniffing for the earthy scents of soil and smoke. Once land was in sight, there was no getting her out of the cockpit. All her senses were tuned towards our destination, even though she seldom went ashore. Our arrival at St. Helena in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean was the classic view of Jelly's anticipation. Land ho!
Pets really do become family members. We've always had cats and dogs (and rats and guinea pigs, etc) when we were growing up and when our kids were growing up. Perhaps because we spent so much time with Jelly, she was our favorite cat of all time. When we decided to visit New Zealand and Australia, we made the hard decision to leave her with my mom in the USA. Quarantine laws in those countries are strict. As it turned out, Mom and Jelly became the best of companions and enjoyed nearly seven years together before they both passed away in 2014.
Will we every get another cat? Pets pose some interesting issues aboard and we're not ready to handle those at the moment. Maybe someday, but probably not in the near future.
Jelly still has her own page on our website. Check it out if you have a chance.