Monday, May 28, 2007

The Abbeygirle (Her Namesake)

The Abbeygirle

The boat is named after our cat Abbey.

This cat appeared out of knowwhere apparently. During the fall of 2006 I was working long hours haulling grain for a local elevator. I would often take my wife with me. One evening, we arrived home around 9 or 10 o'clock. After unloading the pickup truck (lunch bucket, water jug... whatever) we heard this meowing. We searched everywhere. Realizing that the sound was coming from under my pickup truck I layed down and slid under it. This kitten was wedged up under my truck between the cab and the bed and it's frame rail. I have no idea how long she had been there.

So, being just a kitten (and scared of everything and every sound) I allowed her to stay in my garage. Well .... she wound up living in that garage all winter. My wife had thrown out an old comforter that she no longer wanted and set it on my boat... intending for me to put it away with her other garage sale items. Abbey decided that this would make a nice bed... on my boat.

I worked in the garage most of the winter and so did Abbey. She had to get into everything that I was doing. She was my little helper. :)

At some point I started letting her out, eventually allowing her into the house. She was an instant hit with the inside cats (two - both males). She showed an absolute fear of the street in front of the house and thus... kept to the backyard... and usually stayed within whistling distance. Yes, she comes to a whistle... just like a dog ! Abbey would often spend the night outside, even in the snow, and in the mornings I would just crack open the back door and whistle.... and her she comes.

She addopted a "CAT" house that I had built many years ago for our daughters cat (an outdoor cat). This "CAT" house is a two story, insulated structure with a cedar shake roof. So, we didn't worry about her staying warm outside in the cold weather.
This little house, with a cat inside it, will hold enough heat to prevent a bowl of water from freezing even at temperatures down to -20 degrees F.

Eventually though, we all grow up and begin to loose our childhood fears... and Abbey is no exception. One evening this spring she shot out into the street in front of our house and tangled with a car. She suffered a fractured pelvis bone and a severe concussion as well as a scrape to her belly. That was weeks ago. Now she is back to normal. Ripping through the house... terrorizing everything and everybody in her way. Whooop Whooop, go kitty go !!!

Anyway, it turns out, Abbey is not afraid of water like most cats. We often find her taking a shower with us. She absoutely wants to be involved with everything that we do, water or not.

I figure that when this boat is finished she will be comfortable going along on weekend trips to the lake. Due to her accident... and the wife putting her foot down about her being outside, she is now being harness trained. Yup ! Harness trained... and doing quite well too :)

Abbey is learning to walk on a leash... just like a dog. When the boat is ready to go... so will Abbey... fitted with a harness and leash... maybe even a miniature "kitty" flotation device too.