In 2006 Jamie and I started living full time on s/y Esper. It didn’t take long before we were adopted by a stray kitten called Millie. She has lived with us and shared all our sailing adventures from Turkey to Thailand.
The biggest concern for boat owners who live with a pet is the fear of the animal going over the side and not being able to get back on board. The hull of a boat, when you’re in the water looking up, is a forbidding prospect. It’s high, slippery, slopes the wrong way and, unless you have crampons or a grappling hook, is unscalable.
But s/y Esper came equipped with a swimming platform on the stern, so the sea-to-safety leap was less intimidating. Even so, it’s still a struggle to haul yourself up. For humans, there is a fold-down ladder. But cats don’t have fingers, so we added a rope ladder to make the job easier.