We did a few things around the boat to ensure Leo’s safety as we are traveling. I can’t say they work for sure, but they make me feel better :)
- Harness – The consumer world of cat harnesses is a very small one. We found out quickly that dog harnesses way out number cat ones. And no, you cannot use a dog harness on a cat, their little bodies are shaped differently. We settled for a run of the mill cat harness from PetSmart for Leo. It is bright green (to match his eyes) and has reflective markings on it. If he falls in, not only do we have something to snag with a boat hook, he should also be easy to see.
- ID Tags – We got 2 little ID tags that attach to Leo’s harness with rivets. One has his name, our cell phone #, and JR’s e-mail address. The other has our boat name. In the event that he jumps ship and is found, his irresponsible owners should be pretty easy to track down.
- Help Me Tag – My mother-in-law had a little sticker on her front door that said, “In case of emergency, please rescue my dog!” I thought this was brilliant and should be translated to our boat. I made a little tag that said just that. I also included our phone number and a very detailed picture of Leo :) We hang it on the lock whenever we leave the boat.
- Non-skid Food Bowls – This one is not so much for safety, but convenience. We found ours at PetSmart and they are SUPER non-skid. Because of them, we’re not cleaning up water every day and Leo’s food stays in one spot so he can find it easily.
- Net – A nice big, tough one that we keep attached to the vertical support tubing of our bimini for easy access. If he falls in the drink, we can scoop him sooner than later. Thanks for that tip, David :)
- Rules – He isn’t allowed on deck while we are underway if it’s wavy or if we are heeling, and he isn’t allowed on deck without his harness. He is adjusting…
So far our little Boo hasn’t taken any swims, although our vet assured me that cats can swim just as well as dogs. Leo is an older, more wise feline, so he isn’t quite as risky as his younger counterparts. Nevertheless, accidents happen and we want to be prepared to scoop him as soon as he hits the drink!