Since expanding my Potential Interviewee Pool to include Pets of the Feline Pursuasion, I’ve learned a buncha stuff about, you know, Cats, an I’m not quite as nervous as I usta be. But still …
I heard that CC (Calico Cat) Handley had a pretty inneresting tail to tell, so I looked her up and scheduled an innerview. CC’s a Boat Cat (which I’d never heard of before), so I was 9 parts lookin’ forward to meeting her, an only 1 part nervous.
When me an my assistant were walkin’ up to the boat, I couldn’t help but remember that, even though pet cats are cute an fluffy an do that soft liddle purr thing, they’re related to lions. An tigers. An poo-muhs.
“Get a Grip, Dog!” I told myself sternly.
Since CC’s boat was being spiffed up, we met on the dock, outside Capt. Hirams in Sebastian where it was moored. Well, turns out CC was totally cute an real, real frenly. I felt like a Doof for bein’ nervous, and hoped she hadn’t noticed.
She came right over for a liddle sniff. “Mr. Bonzo, it’s a pleasure! A real pleasure! I’m CC Handley, an this is my Dad, Capt. Jim. I’ve never been innerviewed before so you’ll have to tell me how it works.”
“The pleasure is mine, Miss CC,” I said suavely, opening my notebook. “You can just tell me about how you an your Dad met, an what your life’s like, livin’ on a boat. An about the Recent Exciting Event I heard about. Just start at the beginning.”
She curled her tail around her front paws an began. “Back nine years ago, my Dad’s lady friend wanted a pet companion for when Dad was Away. Soon after, coincidentally, Dad was driving by a house on Indian River Drive with a ‘Free Cat’ sign in the yard. Perfect timing, right? An the price was right. Turns out all but one of the liitter had already found good homes. The only kitten left was The Runt. Me! A tiny liddle fuzzball. I mean, I could fit into teacup and still have room for the lemon slice. You can imagine how Totally Irresistable I was, right?”
“Dad was NOT a Cat Person,” she grinned. “It only took me about 2 seconds to fix that. I was a liddle timid for only a couple days, just checking things out an getting my Sea Paws. Me an Dad have been together ever since. I’m a Total Boat Cat. We hang out here mostly. We also have an actual house in Orlando. It’s OK, but this is my favorite.”
“I’ve gotta great famly. There’s my sister Brittany (she’s in college), an her friend Zack an her pooch Molly, a mini-Yorkie. We get along great. Ackshully, I get along real good with dogs. I never did see that big a difference, ’cept I’m called a ‘cat.’”
“Whaddya do for fun?”
“I love ridin’ in the car. I snuggle in Dad’s lap an snooze. Whenever Dad goes to work, I watch Animal Planet. When the weather’s nice, we go in our boat. (Dad calls it ‘Dewers and Lures,’ painted right on the side. Isn’t that silly? Humans are always namin’ their boats funny stuff like that. I wonder why.) Anyway, we go to the Sand Bar at the Inlet, or that pretty island across from Mulligan’s, an just hang out. Those pine needles are like a big thick rug. An I watch the birds, an bugs an stuff. Dad fishes. Back at the dock, me an my pelican pals hang out an get scraps from the humans cleaning the fish. They even made me an Honorary Pelican. Cool, huh?”
“Totally! Do you swim?”
“Well, I CAN, but I don’t LIKE to. There have been a few times, as I was leaping with catlike grace from boat to boat or boat to dock, I slightly miscalculated, and landed, well, in the water. Then, when I tried to climb back up the pier, I sorta slid back into the water. Dad hadda scoop me out. THAT was embarrassing!”
“I’ll bet!” I said, trying not to laugh.
“Now I hafta stay in the boat, which is fine with me. I HATE bein’ wet.”
“So, what’s this I hear about you bein’ a hero?”
“Oh, that. So, it was a Dark an Stormy Night. Real windy. I was quietly hanging out with Dad, snoozin,’ watchin’ TV. Suddenly I was startled by this faint sound that made me leap up and run over to the window. Dad didn’t hear it, so I kept meowing an meowing. Dad tried to shush me, but I kept on meowing (cuzza my IN-stinks). Finally Dad came over and looked out. Then he heard what I was hearin’: this faint voice hollarin’ ‘Help me!’ over an over.”
“Wooof!” I exclaimed.
“Turns out, it was a human (15 people years) struggling in the water. Dad called 911 like humans are ’spose to do when there’s TROUBLE, an pulled the boy aboard. The boy told Dad his uncle was still in the water, so Dad got him, too. Turns out, their boat hit something and was sinking. Dad says if it wasn’t for me, he woulda never heard the boy hollarin.’”
“Woof! CC, you’re a HERO!” I told her with admiration.
“Well, I just did what any cat would do. An Dad’s the one who ackhully pulled ’em up the ladder.”
“But still, that’s Super Pawsome!”
“Aww, thanks, Mr. Bonzo. That’s so sweet. Dad did give me a whole can of tuna as a reward. He says I owe him 37 cents for the tuna. (I know he’s just teasing.) Now Dad’s pals call him Capt. Kitty. An I’m First Mate CC.”
Heading home, I was thinking how more and more dogs an cats are getting along just fine with one another, even though they’re different species. That makes me hopeful.
Till next time,