You may think a life at the sea is not for a cat. And in many cases you are probably right but cats surprise us more and more challenging whatever fixed image we have on them. They prove their interests are wider than we thought and a simple push into a new experience will uncover fascinating sides they have that we not always see. Such is Amelia’s case.
Her human, Liz Clark, has been travelling on her sailboat, the Swell, since 2006 and she wants to keep on living that adventurous, nomadic, free-style life. That’s why she hasn’t adopted any of the cats and dogs she has encounter on the way that she has felt tempted to. But Amelia was different, Liz says:
“I’m not sure whether I found her or she found me that fateful afternoon in November of 2013, but it felt fairly clear that we were meant to be together.”
There was something about her that also called for adventure and Liz just couldn’t turn away from her. So she decided to give her a chance and see if she could cope up with the life at the sea. She called her Amelia -after Amelia Earhart- since Liz sensed they shared a similar taste for adventure.
It was great that she gave her a chance because Amelia eventually became the Tropicat and the relationship they have is quite unique.
Liz build her a “tree” wrapping a yoga mat around the mast, made her a fishing platform and tied strings everywhere for her to play. She also designed some ladder so she could climb back to the boat in case she fell to the water while Liz was away.
Since she also knew she probably missed the trees, Liz started bringing her ashore on walks and hikes and let her play in the forest while she practiced yoga. And for over a year they were making it work. Until the day Amelia disappeared…
They had been invited to a little surf excursion on the other side of the island. On the way there, Amelia fell on the water twice and she seemed horrified. Once on the shore, Liz went for a quick surf but by the time she came back, Amelia was gone.
She never stopped looking for her, she kept going back to the island and even camped there sometimes but Amelia was nowhere to be found. Liz came up with the idea that maybe Amelia needed to be free and was ready to let her go.
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But after 42 days missing, Amelia had been spotted and though healthy, she seemed to be in need of love. Liz was thrilled to see her but wasn’t sure if to bring her abroad with her again was a good idea: maybe she needed a different life style. But Amelia followed her anyway and stepped into the boat like if she knew that was home.
Now they are back to their adventurous life at the sea, but Liz is aware Amelia needs more land so she has made some rearrangements to make it possible. A friend of hers built her a small “office” in the forest so Liz can work while Amelia enjoys dry land.
“The more freedom I give her, the more she seems to trust me. She still follows me all over the mountains and on beach walks, and if I’m patient and let her do it in her cat-like way, she hops right in the dinghy when it’s time to go home”
This story definitely challenges any fixed idea you may have of cats. Because even though many cats are happy indoors and living the life on a couch, if pushed into a new experience, they may prove you how much more they can be. And even if they are not the adventurous type, it doesn’t matter because whatever they are, is always great.