Light & Salty gained a new crew member this weekend.
I know, I know. We’re crazy. Let me refer you back to a previous post (The One When Everyone Said We Were Crazy.) As mentioned then, if this is the first time you’re thinking that…you must not have been following our story for very long! Same sentiment holds true now.
As always, there’s a story. I’ll rewind to the beginning for some of our newer friends.
2 years ago, we boat shopped with a cat in mind. Literally every boat that we looked at involved a discussion of things like “where will the litter box go?” Our sweet cat, Smokey, was to be our 5th crew member. Unfortunately, on March 1, 2020 Smokey got away during an open house at our dirt home.
Every single person we knew helped us search or pray for Smokey’s safe return. Our house went under contract, we bought a boat, and the world shut down. And our baby didn’t come home. Talk about an emotional time in our lives! We searched tirelessly for months, but finally the time came to leave Charlotte without Smokey.
The first few months on the boat felt so empty without our beloved family pet. We never intended to Loop without a 4-legged crew member.
Without sharing more than I should, I will say that emotions are tough. And a lack of closure takes mourning to a whole new level. We all experienced so many “what if” moments. Each and every time we returned to Charlotte, we looked for Smokey.
By the fall, 2 things became painfully obvious: After 6 months, it was doubtful we’d ever see Smokey again. And our kids needed a pet to love (even if they didn’t quite understand that!)
Enter the idea for a dog, which was ridiculous. Who gets a puppy when they live on a boat?
You can read more of the ‘why’ and ‘how’ about our crazy decision to get a puppy here, The One About Living On A Boat With A Dog. One thing I didn’t share in that post was that we offered to get a cat. However, Mary Grace put her foot down. No cat. Her heart wasn’t ready.
So we get Captain, and Mary Grace falls in love instantly. Before he was potty trained Mary Grace came to us and said, “I think I’m ready for another cat now.” Uhh. That ship sailed, literally!
Unfortunately, we had to tell her that there was no possible way we could commit to having 2 brand new animals on our boat. THAT would be crazy! So we asked her to table it for a year. At the time, a year felt like an infinitely long period of time. And we fully intended to be back in a dirt home by then.
Well, guess what? October 2021 marked a year since we brought our new crew member, Captain, aboard.
So, as promised, it was time to talk about a cat.
As luck would have it, right about the time Mary Grace started reminding us that a year had almost passed, our sweet friends became foster parents to the cutest kitten on the planet. I reached out, and as they say, the rest is history.
We let Mary Grace pick the name for our new kitty. After much debate she narrowed it down to Crew, Latitude (“Lattie”) and Sailor. Note the nautical names! And in the end, Lattie felt like the perfect name for our little girl. (And for those who’ve known us forever…yes, we had a dog, Maddie. And yes, we’re already flubbing all the names!)
The most fun part of the story is how we know Lattie’s foster family. We met them at the Great Loop Conference in Chicago back in November 2019. Ironically, we grew up 10 minutes from each other in Atlanta and went to rival high schools. Small world! They cheered us on as we completed our Loop. And we’re anxiously awaiting their boat purchase so they can begin Looping this year.
For the last month, Cinda sent pictures and videos of Lattie daily. It was almost an unbearable wait until we could go pick her up. She finally gained enough weight to be officially adopted and we made a whirlwind road trip to pick her up.
4 of us are absolutely smitten with our new crew member. And Captain is beside himself with excitement over the new toy we’ve gotten him!
In all seriousness, we’re taking introductions slow. It’s been a balancing act between letting them adjust to each other, and making them both feel safe and special. Lattie is a little bit of a dare devil and we foresee her taking charge quickly.
Naturally, we all have obvious concerns about Lattie getting off our boat. Losing a cat is a pain that will never go away. However, we’re praying a lot and resolved to not live in fear of what could happen. (We’re also looking into different tracking options for her collar!)
As always, thanks for following along on our crazy adventures! And be sure to check our Instagram account for tons of videos and pictures of our new family member! You may also enjoy reading:
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