I’ve been getting to meet the neighbours, at a safe distance.
This is Shoes.
He is boss eyed, but will not boss me around. I gave him a good old hiss through the window. Not sure if he looked at me or someone in the next indoors! Apparently he is friendly and I must be nice to him as he’s just had an operation. But if he thinks he can come into my inside ….!
Then there are my next door neighbours. I’m not sure which my next door is at the moment, but I hope they won’t be sat behind it.
This is Betty and Alan.
They do lots of sitting on a shed in the sunshine. Wonder if there is space for me up there too? The shed is on my planned route to climb the big wall, so I hope they don’t get in the way.
Apparently I’m under house arrest. She says ‘You’ve another week before you can explore this outside‘. She says ‘You are doing well, you just need to relax a bit more and stop being so jumpy!‘
Since being in this new inside I have got into trouble a few times.
There is the hole under a drawer that I can stick my arms in. This space also has an intriguing gap at the top of it, but so far I’ve been grabbed before I could climb up to it. She says You might gas yourself if I hang off the pipes up there!
She also doesn’t like it when I put my head up into a boiler to see what was wrong with it. Apparently this one is fine, it’s the other one that isn’t! I was just trying to help.
Chair seats are not allowed to be scratched, nor is the sofa, that is reserved for my scratch pole. I can see She is starting to come up with a list of rules for being inside.
She and Tom keep opening some doors, which very quickly get closed behind them. I’m trying to work out how they do this. On Oleanna they do something with the long bolts on the doors, which if rattled by yours truly, sometimes open by themselves or they open them. These doors don’t have bolts on them. I’ve tried shouting ‘OPEN SESEMEE!’ at them but that doesn’t work.
However I just so happened to be passing and the door just happened to be open just a little teeny tiny bit. It obviously needed encouragement, so I gave it some.
Wowee!!! What an inside!!
More steps another parallel room and staircase, this time downwards. This is Upstairs Upstairs Inside that they keep talking about. So much to explore, so much to sniff, so much to climb on, so much to keep a bored cat occupied for days even weeks, even years!
Sadly my new collar and bell gave the game away. I’d peeked at the peak of this upstairs upstairs inside too soon and got lifted back down. The door firmly shut behind me.
She said,‘There’s no need to be cocky!’ as I strutted my stuff onto the parallel catwalk. This turned out to be a big mistake. Cockyness means I don’t take the time to do calculations or Health and Safety checks. I stepped onto the cat walk, both front paws fitted. Then the first back paw. I started to lift the second back paw and realised there was too much of me for this catwalk and certainly not enough room for a fourth paw.
I did a rather nice spiral fall, deflecting myself off the hand rail halfway down and landed on all four paws. The floor was big enough for all of them thank goodness.
She and Tom have been busy. They have been getting lots of deliveries. On Oleanna we’d have to move the outside to get deliveries, but this outside just seems to have delivery people waiting to knock on the door, although one of them just puts things through it without being asked!
Two Toms brought two big white things to the back outside. She and Tom were happy about this as it means they can wash lots and lots of things without having to visit Oleanna to do so.
They spent ages pushing and pulling and connecting things. I did my best to help but was told ‘You’ll just get in the way.‘ Now those things are in my way and I can’t see the big spider in the big whole anymore.
Then a lady came with a big box for me to play with. It was full of vegetables, organic apparently. She was really pleased with this as I was with the box. The box has ended up in a cupboard that keeps getting fuller and fuller. She says, ‘How come with all this space there isn’t space for everything!’It’s because Oleanna is so perfectly formed with lots of good places to put things.
Then a Tom came with an even bigger box. This one even has instructions on it to be made into a Cat mansion. Apparently I’m going to have to wait for it to be empty, which may take some time as I think they are stock piling loo rolls. ‘At least it’s not 100 rolls!’,She says.‘These loo rolls mean other people can go to the loo too.’
Another day and another box. This one was a little bit boring, but Oleanna will like it as it’s things for her so that Tom can change her oil and She might just give the cat walk a new coat of paint if there are ever any nice days again. The sun has disappeared from Scarboreugh! So my morning yoga is a touch chilly now, infact it’s a touch chilly most places, something to do with boilers and plumbers. They can’t hang the washing out to dry as it would only get wetter, so the big white boxes that are in the way haven’t been used, one of them makes a strange noise too, so that needs to be mended.
Then there was a little parcel that got pushed through the door which was for me! Inside new land based cat tags. This is so that if I get lost looking for my boat, people will know where I live, just the same as my Oleanna cat tags.
She took my red collar off and replaced it with a shiny blue one with the new tag and a much louder bell on it. My red collar has been put on a shelf for use when we visit Oleanna next.
Tom organised the interwebwhatsit a few weeks ago and a little box arrived. This box is far too small for any cat to sit in. He calls it a router, maybe it will help them route plan for moving the outside a bit like my friend Pauls map for the canals?LINK
This little box is being slow. All my photos take ages to get inside and She and Tom keep sitting staring at the computers sighing because it is so slow. So Tom got his Kronenburger tool out and has been playing with wires, apparently he used to do this as a job before he moved the outside, not that he’s doing much of that at the moment!
He’s tried another box, used his burger tool, knelt on the floor lots, tapperty tapped and it’s still very slow. Tom’s certain it’s something to do with our pair between here and the exchange. For telephone people Interleaving has been turned on. Now they have to wait to see if that has worked. Tom may know someone on the inside who might be able to help, they must be really really small to be in that box!
More doors have opened up. I now have two climbing frames inside. I’ve yet to complete all the calculations to reach the top shelf, but I’m working on it.
Views from high up at the back are good, lots of walls though. These look like a challenge.
Meanwhile I am keeping myself busy. With more space around my scratch pole than on Oleanna I can chase all those friends I’ve been keeping at the end of my tail for such occasions.
On my first day in Scarboreugh more than one door opened to tell the truth. This inside has another inside on top of it!
Hall Ways are big and I’m only little.
Oleanna has a grand total of 7 steps. This inside has 39! It has a staircase and a parallel universe staircase which is the other way round. At the top there is a portal from one to the other, at the bottom is a door to keep them apart, maybe this is to stop them from fighting. She says ‘It is to stop one of them from getting cold!’
Once you climb all the way up the stairs, not quite as good as a tree in my opinion, (although She and Tom can manage stairs, but not trees), there are even more doors. They are everywhere!!!
There is even a little cat walk which means I can look at the top of Tom’s head, not that there is much to see there!
A door opened. Another room with a very big bed. I wouldn’t be needing all that bed! It does however have a very nice squishy duvet on it that sinks to about half my height.
Tom says‘This is our temporary bedroom, until the other one stops being smelly.’ All three of us fit well in the huge bed. Tom doesn’t have to squash his head when he goes to sleep and I don’t get moved around all the time when She wants to turn over, and She doesn’t have to wake us both up to go to the toilet in the night.
So far I am failing to keep toes warm in the mornings and pen isn’t as appealing as it used to be.
The bed has mooring bollards at my end, so I’ve made sure I have bagsied them both so nobody else can moor to them as that would be bad.
I keep waiting for them to pull and push the bed away to convert it into my day bed, but I think they have become lazy and just can’t be bothered anymore.
I would like to inform you that I have just done a celebratory figure of 8 around this inside as I have just had my first pooh here! Health and Safety currently dictates that I must make sure anything that I leave in my pooh box is well and truly covered. She was very pleased to find it after digging down a bit.
I have just worked out that this inside is exactly the same length as Oleanna on the outside. 136 paces and two pounces to be exact. Then it is 48 paces wide at one end and 64 paces at the other, give or take a paw. I’m really not sure how Tom is going to get this outside through the bridges, never mind the locks!
Tom and She keep using all the doors, but they say I can only go through one extra one each day. Just how many doors are there? Oleanna only has two inside!
I have been introduced to a thing called carpet. I’m quite glad of this as the kitchen floor was a touch chilly on my bum. Carpet is good for getting your claws into so you can scoot around on your side after toys.
This living room has a Tilly shelf, which is great. She’s not taken a photo of me there yet, something to do with lighting. It sits half way up a side and is much bigger than the one on Oleanna. She says I must not grow to fill this shelf, but there is not much chance of that as I’m a little bit off my food at the momentas there are no friends about.
There is a sofa which smells of boat life. It is red, a little bit longer and has sides to it. I am glad to report it also has a secret passageway behind it, however you don’t need to use the time warp continuum to get into it. Another feature which is good is that I can get my arms right underneath it, I think it hovers.
The window here is HUGE and has great views of trees and friendly cover. I so hope I get to climb them before this outside gets untied.
The sun shines in through the window each morning. One huge spot light for me to practice my yoga and then have a snooze in, on the carpet.
This living room also has more doors, two in fact. But I’ll save those for tomorrow as I’m only allowed one door a day, so why should you get more!
I’m not going to say much about my trip to Scarboreugh, other than I really don’t want to go through that again thank you very much! But She has reassured me that my Escape Pod is now clean as clean can be.
We arrived to a cold shiny place called the kitchen. This was to be my new inside, or so I thought. She stayed with me whilst Tom was being busy. Where was this floor when it was hot! I think they might have to get some for Oleanna as it is nice and cool.
A dark red cat kept appearing out of the corner of my eye and looking at me, so I looked back at it. I think it’s okay, but I’ll keep an eye on it, just incase!
The kitchen is square and has windows on most sides. If you made Oleanna into a square I think it would fit inside this inside! It also has a Lot of doors. One of which I can see through at my height. She said it was a special cat window, I agree as I think it is too low for Tom to be able to look out of. Have to say the view isn’t much to write home about! I did wonder if the view was any different through the bigger window at the top, but without my booster block it was just a touch too high for me to stretch to see.
She opened up a door and helped me up to look out of the window. Green! I could see green!! Juicy looking grass and maybe a tree. Things might be looking up.
Back in the kitchen I was assisted to look out of more windows. She put her jumper down so I didn’t get a cold bottom. There are lots of windows here all with better views than my little cat window. Maybe when they start to move the outside it will improve.
Two more doors opened. Here there were creaky floors and some brooms to hide behind, so I chose this as a good spot for the time being.
They kept laughing at me as I wouldn’t jump up onto anything. Don’t they realise that until I’ve completed a full Health and Safety check of everywhere, jumping will not be deemed to be safe! Jumping calculations need to take into account the landing ground, so I stretch to as long as I can be, but some places are just that bit too high even for the longest cat.
My food bowl and water are next to each other. Across the way is my pooh box, handy for now. She says it will move once I’ve settled, I wonder if that is the same as when the canal settles and becomes clear? If that happens no-one will be able to see me!
PS KevinToo, She wanted me to ask, can you read me alright?
Tom does the hard work of reving the engine on Oleanna, turning the big stick at the back and making the outside move from side to side, sometimes all the way around. I don’t often get to see what he does as I’m inside most of the time, but I do quite often see him tie the outside up for short periods of time.
Tom is in charge of my morning ding ding, but I’m not so bothered about that. He gives me good head nudges and for some reason his evening ding dings taste the best, well most of the time.
Some days he opens up the back of the floor and spends time under it. This is where the rumbling heart of Oleanna lives. I’m not allowed in there, I think they are worried I might get covered in some yucky stuff and my white paws would never be the same again.
This is She.
She does the even harder work of moving the outside up and down. This sometimes involves lots of water, other times She has to push the air up or sideways. Once they stop moving the outside and tie it up for the day, She decides whether I’m allowed to go for an explore. There are rules She has to recite to me everytime. I’m apparently very good at keeping time, although I don’t know where I keep it.
She plays with me. Pen in the mornings, sometime stick, sometimes stone and sometimes conker, although I’m not too keen on the latter game as it’s spikey. It all depends on what that outside has.
She has a really good lap to sit on, well apart from when she wears those short trousers or the ones that are thin, I’m not so keen on them. Towels come in handy then. She also has good toes that need to be kept warm overnight and in the mornings.
When I’ve lost the time, rare but it does happen especially when you don’t know where you keep it, She comes into the outside and shouts my name, she also meows for me. We can have quite a conversation if I’m not being too busy in the friendly cover.
This is Oleanna which has been my home since 2016.
Oleanna is a narrowboat, apparently you can get wide boats, but these would have to breath in lots in some outdoor situations.
Oleanna was built especially for us by some Toms in Sheffield. She has various features that She included just for me.
I have enough head room to be able to eat my dingding from my bowls . This has two shelves above it, one where lots of bottles are kept, then the top one which is the ‘Feed me!’ shelf. They know what I’m after if I stand on this. I do have to share it with onions and carrots though and She occasionally tells me off as I might singe my white tipped tail on the cooker.
I’m not allowed in the cooker cupboard!
There is a good place to stash my toys, balls naturally roll there, in the wine cellar. When it’s not so full of boxes I can squeeze in there .
There is a special pull out cupboard. This has two cat features that I should point out. The first is it has a gap underneath it when it gets pulled out. They think I’d get squashed if I stayed in there when it gets closed, but I managed to be in there once for quite a while and had to meow quite loudly to get their attention, I came out just like I went in, so I don’t get squashed. The other is there is a gap at the back of the pull out bit, this is especially good to jump into and explore, but I know I’d get squashed if it went back in.
I have a very big scratch pole, which I used to sit on top of when I was little. I’m too big to do that now, but I still use it when I don’t have any trees to climb.
I have a Houdini shelf, which means I can sit at window level and watch the outside move. This was a feature they especially wanted on Oleanna, even before they knew I existed, it is named after Houdini who was the first second mate. The Tom’s who built Oleanna weren’t too keen on Houdini’s shelf, but relented in the end. They always ask if I use it and I do.
I have my own shelf, it’s a bit like a box on it’s side. I took charge of this the day we moved the inside to Oleanna. This gives me a good vantage point down the boat, I just have to make sure I don’t grow anymore as then I wouldn’t fit in it.
I can also sit by the kitchen. This gives me a good view over Tom’s shoulder so I can see what he’s reading. It’s never very interesting.
There is the secret corridor behind the sofa. I haven’t as yet managed to get in there by myself, even though I try quite frequently. There really must be a way in if I empty all the books onto the floor. She sometimes opens up the portal that leads to the corridor, for some reason there are lots of pens down there. I wonder how they get there?
The bathroom has a big glass surround for my water bowl, a gulping monster under the floor.
And a very handy sink to stand on so that I can peer out of the porthole and plead to be let out.
The bedroom has good features too. A bed that we all share, it gets smaller during the day as I’m the only one who uses it then.
When they lift it up it has Tilly sized holes which I can just squeeze through.
I have a booster block so that I can see through the front windows.
All the curtains were made with me in mind. I can slot in behind them and sit right in the window for the best sunbathing spots and to watch the outside go up and down.
Outside there is a handy catwalk on both sides, just the right width for me. This is especially handy when we are on rivers, I can sit and wait for friends on the banks to show them selves.
There is a roof and covers, these give me extra height so I can see a lot further and keep an eye on woofers as they pass.
When I was a few months old I was rescued from a life of eating road kill in Nottinghamshire by some lovely ladies at Burton Joyce Cat Welfare. These ladies looked after me for a short while and then suggested that She might want to adopt me. She came to meet me after only having seen one photo, She’d already fallen for me and the white tip to my tail guaranteed I’d have a new forever home on a narrowboat.
My narrowboat was called Lillian and she was bright yellow. She and Tom moved the outside most days, moving it hundreds and thousands of miles. Then we changed our boat to one that was built for us, Oleanna, they still move the outside, I think we’re up to a million miles now, but I’m not sure.
As a Second Mate I am kept busy both inside and out, my days are filled with my duties. Catching flies, spiders and my favourite Daddylonglegs, they are especially crunchy. I have to inspect things, keep an eye on the rest of the crew and make sure that the bed is kept warm. In winter I have to keep a special eye on the stove and make sure it keeps its temperature.
When the outside is tied up I usually get to explore. Lots of people seem puzzled by this and ask, ‘Does she come home?’ Well I must do otherwise She and Tom wouldn’t still have a cat to let out, would they! Stupid people!!
I am a Naturalist and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Trees need to be climbed. Side ways trees ventured through. Friendly cover needs to be watched at close quarters until it yields the friends it hides. Water must be avoided. I can swim, but would rather not as it takes a very long time to dry off.
Most outsides that they catch are good, plenty to keep me occupied. But then there are those outsides that are not good, like BUMingham and Yurck! These outsides my shore leave is often cancelled and after a while I begin to get cabin fever. Good outsides tend to get awarded a Mrs Tilly Stamp of Approval and I aim to publish a list of these somewhere on my blog to assist other boat cats in getting their crew to tie up the correct outsides.
For the last four years I have contributed to the Oleanna blog that She writes. I’ve been told that my life is about to change somewhat, so I thought that maybe I should record this. I have no idea what the future may bring, but as it does bring things I will share them with you, lets hope it’s Dreamies, although I obviously won;t be sharing those with you!