“What’s this?” you might say . . . “a story about a pussy-cat? That doesn’t sound like a travel tale.”
Bear with me a moment . . . it really is . . . a story of one of the many travels I had when I was young and foolish, and had a small cat for company on my fish-boat, on which I traveled the coast of BC, trying to make a living by catching fish. The full version of this adventure was first published as “Night Run” in a fishing magazine many years ago. This is the poetry version of the same event. I hope you enjoy it, again, a true story!
BOSUN’S LAST RUN, THE STORY OF MY SEA-GOING PUSSYCAT
Bosun, my cat, was a great little sailor; pretty good at fishin’, but at swimmin’ a failure.
My bunk up forward her favourite place to sleep; late in the morning out of the cabin she’d creep for her breakfast I had saved for her to eat; of salmon nibbles and other pussy cat treats.
One day we headed past Texada with a wish; that somewhere near the coast there might be more fish.
We left Westview next evening as a sou’easter calmed down; up the coast to Lund, another small town.
Three boats together was the way we would start, ‘til a nor’wester squall forced us apart.
The spray o’er the foredeck caused it to leak; onto my bunk, disturbing her sleep.
She moved further aft, until the next wave came; poured in a small window, much to my shame.
I was fighting the squall, with all of my might; as the waves grew larger, we were both in a fright.
Bosun’s choices below were limited to try; with nowhere to go in hopes to stay dry.
My old Easthope had a dangerous flywheel; turning down into the bilge, it was made of steel.
The boat leaked bad as the engine chugged away; the flywheel sent bilge-water up with a spray.
As things got worse, Bosun moved closer to me; until a window crashed in, letting in some of the sea.
We finally made port, feeling we actually did win; so I cleaned up the cabin and at last turned in.
The next morning we all headed up the dock; to look for coffee and food, so we could all talk.
Bosun followed us, as she usually came; glad to be out of that boat, I could not blame.
The last I saw of her, her backside all wet; heading up the road, as far away as she could get.
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