Q: When and how did you and Bailey first meet?
I first saw a photo of Bailey online whilst I was searching for a pet companion. He was 10 months old and the man who owned him couldn’t keep him. His beautiful blue eyes had me hooked the moment I laid eyes on him. The next day I drove for an hour up into the mountains to collect him and he came home with me to my flat in Nice, France.
Q: Have you always had pets?
I grew up in a house full of pets. My family have always had dogs and cats with several rabbits and guinea pigs over the years as well. I’d always had pets until moving to Paris for work. I was unable to have a pet where I lived so two years later when I moved to Nice I made it a priority to search for somewhere suitable for myself and a furry companion.
Q: You currently live on a boat with Bailey sailing around the Mediterranean which sounds like a wonderful life, how did that come about?
I met my partner James in 2011, he already lived on our boat Nocturne with a dream of sailing off to distant shores. He’s based in Rome for work and so I commuted from France to be with him on my days off. Bailey and I did lots of road trips between Nice and Rome (a journey of about 8 hours in the car) before finally moving aboard full time in April of this year.
Q: Do you live on the boat 12 months a year?
Yes! We all love life afloat and living aboard. Nocturne is our home and where we choose and want to be. Bailey loves the boat and has great fun jumping, climbing and hiding is various cubby holes!
Q: There is a long history of cats living on boats of course, but how long did it take Bailey to adjust to this rather unusual lifestyle?
He was introduced to the boat when he was 10 months old. We took it slowly to begin with allowing him to adjust to the boat itself. We ran the engine while still in the marina so he got used to the sound of the engine before finally going on a short day sail. He took to it immediately and has never been afraid.
Q. Has Bailey ever fallen overboard?
Luckily never while we’ve been out at sea! He has, however, fallen in whilst in the marina. We think he fell asleep and slipped off the stern! He’s never allowed outside unless supervised in the marina, we heard the splash and scooped him out again in the big net we keep handy on the deck. He also jumped overboard whilst we were on anchor once! He was running around enjoying the crazy five minutes that regularly catch him at dusk and then he leapt off the bow of the boat! He’s an excellent swimmer and managed two laps of the boat before James and I could catch him. Now we also have a rope ladder ready for him to climb up if he falls overboard while we’re on anchor!
Q: How did the idea for this book come about?
A senior editor at Bloomsbury actually contacted me after seeing the blog (www.baileyboatcat.com) and loving it. She asked me if I’d be interested in writing a book in the same style. I was really excited to have been presented with such an awesome opportunity. The book still had to be pitched officially to the whole team, but was quickly approved and within a few weeks I had started on the manuscript.
Q: As a writer, what are your plans for the future?
I’m currently writing a young adult novel about an underwater world in which Bailey also features. There are so many amazing creatures living in our oceans and I’m really inspired by these characters and the plot which follows their plight to clean up the plastic in the ocean. I’m around half way through my manuscript at the moment and look forward to finishing and polishing it in the next couple of months. The Bailey Boat Cat blog will continue and chronicle our adventures as we hope to sail around the world. I would also love to write articles about our adventures sailing and traveling in Europe.
A note from Bailey:
Ahoy there furiends!
My name is Bailey Blue! I’m a male seal point Siamese. I was born on the 9th of July 2011 in the South of France and was destined to become a boat cat. I’m a fearless feline who loves nothing better than a salty sea breeze ruffling through my fur. I enjoy panoramic horizons, inky sunsets, and starlit fishy feasts. I dislike dinghy devils (known to some humans as seagulls I believe) because they’re an annoying nuisance.
I live on my beloved boat in a port just outside the ancient city of Rome with two human members of crew. My human ‘mum’ is a cool Cornish lass and my human ‘dad’ is an awesome Irish Aussie. Together we have a shared dream to throw off the bow lines and go cruising. We don’t have a set route as such because we intend to be doing this for a long time so there’s no rush. We’d love to see more of the Med, do the Pacific circuit, the Northwest Passage looks like it would be a pawesome challenge and purrsonally I’d like to head to Alaska to see the bears! It would be nice to think that one day we might even do a circumnavigation but we’re happily going with the flow at the moment.
We’ve already made progress since we decided to go for it. To begin with mum and I were commuting between a flat in Nice France and the boat here in Rome Italy and now we’re all happily living aboard full-time. The projects that we’ve been working hard on have all been geared to getting the boat ready for cruising safely and comfortably. Once the cruising kitty and the boat are equally ready we’ll be setting off. Until then we’ll be purring along the Italian coast and islands.
I’m very happy you came aboard to say ‘Hi’ please feel free to stick around and enjoy the fun. You can also sign up to stay updated on all my adventures.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Love and Bisous (French kisses)
BAILEY BOAT CAT is available in fine bookstores everywhere, or through a variety of fine retailers at: