Sunday, January 3, 2010

Howard, Ship's Cat

For a number of years, we shared a berth with Tropic Star, a Howard Chappelle-designed strip-planked wooden schooner.  Joe and Sheila decided at one point that Tropic Star would be incomplete without a ship's cat, thus enter Howard.  Yes, he was named after Tropic Star's designer, and like the designer, he did not have a tail.

The lack of a tail did not seem to bother him.  Certainly he managed to get to all the catly perches on Tropic Star, like the end of the bowsprit.

No, not there...  all the way out at the end.  Which meant he had to do some decidedly catlike maneuvering to get past the foresail bag.  Howard only fell in once that I recall. (Joe and Sheila left a piece of carpeting hanging off the dock into the water to act as a kitty ladder.)

Howard was truely a sailor, in every sense of the word.  If you were a guest aboard Tropic Star, you were reminded that Howard liked beer.  See, if you set your beer down on the deck, he'd run up and knock it over and lap up as much as he could get away with.  Yep, a true sailor.

It wouldn't surprise me a bit to find he had an anchor tattoo under all that fur somewhere.

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