Hi furiends and welcome to this weeks Caturday Connections! Today I’m so honoured to be joined by Ali a veteran of the cruising lifestyle and a true inspiration. I hope you all enjoy her interview!
Hi Ali, Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi Bailey, My Name is Ali and I am a fearsome tiger originally from Venezuela. I adopted my humans almost 11 years ago when I hitched a ride with them to escape my problematic country. I’m glad I did as I hear they have no loo paper there now. I wasn’t going to stay but they (the humans) had a position open for an Admiral so I applied and naturally I got the job. I’ve been sailing the fleet (a monohull, a dinghy and two kayaks) ever since. I have a fiery nature and like to play hard, being a tiger, I like to bite, especially hands but anything that tastes of flesh. But I’m also a big softie at heart and love nothing more than a cuddle…on my terms of course!
You’ve been a boat cat for 11 years! Would you consider swapping life afloat for life on land?
You know Bailey, I would love to move ashore…I dream longingly about it; somewhere nice and warm (I don’t like the cold), where I could run about and chase birds and other cats in the neighbourhood…maybe the odd dog too. But my silly humans think they will feel restless ashore and, well I feel obliged to stay with them. Without me they would probably run aground or sink the ship. So for their own safety I must stay.
I live with Rosie and Sim, I believe they are from a place called England which is somewhere in Europe but I have never been there. They have been sailing for 12 years mainly around the Caribbean and North America. They like the warm weather too. When I first moved in with them things were difficult, as being a Latino, I only speaka de Spanish and they only spoka da Spanglish – with a very bad accent. But we’ve learnt to communicate…..I had to learn English!! But I love them.
What’s your favourite pastime? I love the photo of you with the fish in your mouth, have you purrfected your fishing skills?
I spend a lot of time practising Spanish yoga (aka a siesta), I do a little meditating. I do like to catch a fish. But the humans are incredibly bad at it. My best chance is if a flying fish or a squid lands on deck. I will growl if anyone tries to come between me and my fish. I LOVE fish!
A little fish told me you like to try and escape (I’ve been caught trying to do this too!) any tips on how to successfully explore land without the humans cramping your style?
Listen, when you have spent your life in a 44ft by 13ft space, you need a little me-ow time. Escaping is the only option. First lull the humans into a false sense of security by pretending to take a nap. Once they think you are asleep they won’t check on you so much. That’s your chance – run, run like the wind. Leap off the boat and find the biggest posh boat in the marina to hide in. Or if it’s a boatyard, throw yourself down the ladder; don’t worry if you land on your head, and dash across the yard to the sheds that say ‘employees only’. Only return when you see them shaking your cat food container in front of all the surly boatyard workers and are sure you have humiliated them enough…make sure ‘she’ is called a crazy cat lady at least once.
Where’s your favourite place on the boat?
I have a few purr-furred spots. I have a lovely fleecy blanket on the sofa where I practice my Spanish yoga – though I can do that almost anywhere. If it’s near meal time – which it always should be, right? I like to sit on the corner of the galley and demand food. But the service is always terrible….needless to say, I don’t tip.
When we are sailing I often take the helm chair. It’s the best spot, despite the grumbles from my crew that they get the crappy seats. If they try to throw me off – I bite them.
I was sick once on passage when I was a kitten but it could have been a fur ball. I actually purr-fer sailing over motoring as I can’t stand the noise of the engine. But I admit I’m a fair weather sailor and anything other than that turns me a little green.
What’s the strangest thing you have ever seen whist sailing?
I once caught a Vampire bat hiding in the rolling furler and I’ve seen swimming pigs in the Bahamas.
You’ve visited 27 countries? Wow! Which one was your favourite and why?
Oh, without a doubt Guatemala. Firstly for the obvious reason that they speak my native language. But also because we were in a marina for hurricane season. (It was very cheap). The humans tried in vain to stop me from getting off the boat by building all sorts of barriers. But they forgot that I practice my Spanish Yoga every day. There was nothing that could stop me from getting off and in the end they gave up and gave me free reign during the day. Oh it was wonderful, I climbed all over the neighbouring boats but my favourite was the biggest boat on the opposite dock. I would go and lay on the bed of their air conditioned stateroom lapping up the luxury and cooling off (it’s very hot and sticky in Guatemala). But the owner would get mad and chase me away with a broom, upset that I’d run her two elderly (and inferior) cats off their own boat and left them on the dock outside.
What do you think your next big adventure in life will be?
Well we are currently on our way back to the East Caribbean for a year or two. Europe has been mentioned a couple of times. But trying to get my two humans to make any decisions is very difficult.
If somebody asked you for advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
Practice Spanish yoga.
Do you have a website or social media channel where we can follow your future adventures?
Thankyou so much Ali, I’ve loved talking to you and I think you’re absolutely PAWESOME! You’re doing a great job keeping your humans in check and I’m sure wherever the wind takes you you’ll be happy! You’re very inspiring!
Happy Caturday Evfurryone!