We got a Bengal Cat because they are ‘swimmer cats’ renowned for loving water – perfect for life on a boat, right? Well we were somehow short-changed with Bengie the Bengal. She likes water, but at a distance. This might have something to do with her falling overboard in winter as a kitten many years ago and having to be rescued as she was sinking. Today we are handing over the writing of the post to Bengie the ship’s cat, to tell you about her misadventure in the Keppel Isles.
As you know I am the Admiral of Take It Easy. Whenever possible I like to take my humans for a beachwalk in the morning. They need the exercise. I have to admit I quite like going for a wander too – lots of interesting smells and good to stretch my legs.
Some walks are better than others. My preference is for walks on deserted sandy beaches with a dune at the back and some grass to chew on. I don’t mind rocky outcrops where I can climb high and survey our surroundings. If there is a log or two, I take the opportunity to sharpen my claws on them. And I like digging holes in the sand for you know what.
I am even comfy on Peasy the dinghy. You could be mistaken for thinking I am a small dog as I like to stand at the bow looking ahead and telling my humans where to steer to. You will hear me coming in to the beach yelling at them to get Peasy out of the water quickly so I can jump off without getting my paws wet.
I had not been for a walk for ages (it is a bit hard to do that when we spend time at the Great Barrier Reef). So we had a few good runs. I particularly enjoyed taking off like a bullet and racing on the beach at full speed, making my mum and dad try to keep up! After a while we got back to Peasy. Maybe we were all out of practice, but I have to tell you about something terrible that happened when we were about to go back to the big boat.
After a good wander we hopped back in the dinghy. I went to the bow as I like to do, and was standing there while my humans were pushing the dinghy in the water. The water was so clear I kept leaning over to stare at the bottom. I could clearly see the ripples in the sand and thought I saw a fishy!
But for some reason I lost my balance and ended up in the drink. Absolute disaster! I could not touch the bottom and had to swim! I could not help it, I got scared and cried a little bit and my Mum sort of grabbed me, but then she let me go. I heard my Dad say to her to let me swim… No, no, pick me up, pick me up. But she did not, she let me struggle on. I looked at the dinghy and thought “fat chance of climbing back into that!” Not wanting to sound like a scaredy cat, I stopped crying and started growling instead, and I paddled like crazy to get back to the beach. At least I did not sink and swam properly, not like when I was a kitten years ago.
Once ashore I was really soggy and not at all amused. I was not going to get back to the dinghy in a hurry. So I made my humans walk again. Eventually they convinced me to head back to Take It Easy. I was very careful in the dinghy and stayed right inside.
OK this is me looking soggy. Don’t laugh, I hate it when you laugh at me!
It took me hours to dry my fur! The humans kept giving me belly rubs and saying I smell “nice and fresh.” Ah! Enjoy it while it lasts, because I am not going swimming again anytime soon!
Bengie has been a little more cautious in the dinghy during the following days, but her cat overboard event has not deterred her from resuming her daily beach walks, nor standing at the prow of Peasy. The good thing is that we now know she can swim.
This is the way it normally goes: