Through the porthole

Posted in: Daily Life Aboard on Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Blissful sleep broken by the distinctive crunching coming from the litter box. Scratch, scratch, scratch and the tinkle of a bell as the cat shoots to the other end of the boat.  Tense waiting, pee or poo? The smell, Oh Lord the smell! Can’t sleep through it.  It’s still dark as up I get with all the grace of the elderly. It’s a few freezing seconds before I reach the snugness of my dressing gown.

No light or it will wake Ben, grab the lantern, hold breath, scoop poop. Hand sanitiser, two squirts just to be safe.

I look out the windows to see that dawn is just about to break, the first light of day reflects off all the stainless I can see. Despite tiredness and the cold I consider staying up and watching the sun rise. But the promise of warmth and sleep win out. Grab the cat, hang him upside down to check butt, all clear, he can return to bed. I do too. Ben waits, arm outstretched, big spoon waiting for little spoon.

Dawn breaking across the harbour

Just about asleep. Cat out of bed, wide awake and scratching madly at cupboard doors, clawing the carpet, running laps of the boat at surprisingly high speeds.  Sigh. “Fluffy, here boy” I call in a sing song voice, like a siren luring a sailor. The cat comes, got you! Suppress him in a cuddle, which Fluff won’t have a bar of, squirms and squirms, whiskers in my face, lick lick lick. I just about pass out from his unholy cat breath. Somewhere in the back of my head a little voice says “you know he’s licked his butt with that tongue”. Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! I make a mental note to sanitise my face.

Have got the cat settled, three crew in the bed. Big, medium, small and furry all cuddled up. “BLURGH! BLURGH! BLURGH!” the alarm goes off. Dammit! Hit snooze. Twice.

Get up, back in my dressing gown. Flick on the gas detector and open the valve behind the stove. Avoid looking in the mirror above the galley sink. Fumble around for the parts of our coffee maker, assemble parts, adding coffee and water in appropriate places. Use puzzle solving skills to fish the milk out of the fridge, pour it into pot. Light the stove taking care not to set my bed-head hair on fire, stand a few seconds and glory in it’s warmth. Put the coffee and milk on the stove.

Mmmm freshly brewed coffee!

Feed the cat so he’ll shut up and stop climbing my leg. Consider going back to bed for another precious 10mins. Couch is closer, curl up there instead. Tygress’s couches aren’t really made for curling up but I persist all the same.

Can hear the coffee starting to peculate, mmm what a beautiful smell, I hope it’s wafting out the boat and making someone jealous. It’s definitely wafting to the main berth. Ben smells it, and rises slowly like a zombie rising to the call of brains. We drink coffee together and chat as much as any two half asleep people can in monosyllables and complex mumbles and grunts.

Ben gets ready and has to leave for work, group hug and a long goodbye. It takes a while to adjust to the solitude. The cat promptly curls up and sleeps peacefully, the adorable little s**t. “Now you sleep!” I feel like yelling but he’s a cat so he won’t understand. I spend a few minutes thinking up ways to annoy him before moving on starting my morning boat jobs.