Lobster Yacht

Spinney knew that keeping a small boatyard working during the winter months is not easy. It depends upon contracts signed during the warm season, repair work, and fortuitous restorations of “Boneyard Boats” with well off owners. This winter’s major project was a lobster boat to Lobster Yacht conversion- new transom, some new frames, finish carpentry in the cabin, engine restoration, and all associated work. Work proceeded despite the heavy snow that blanketed the boatyard.
As work proceeded into the cabin area, Bubastis, the nut-brown yard cat and queen of all she surveyed, got forcibly ejected from the nest of old blankets in the bow that she had appropriated as a throne room.
Following her eviction were several days of hissing at Spinney and any who came near. Dead mice showed up on workbenches and Spinney’s desk. Notably, she dropped one ripe rat to cook on top of the woodstove. This last caused the shop to be vacated and aired for most of one afternoon.
A deputation of workers visited Spinney to complain. None dared suggest that Bubastis depart the yard for Spinney’s home. She’d only wander back in a day or two. Nor did any suggest treats, toys, or new beds from the pet store; she’d turn up her aristocratic nose at them.
Nora, Spinney’s sister, came up with the idea. As a kitten Boo ( her kitten name) had slept in the Avon boxes that Nora got when she was selling cosmetics. Nora suggested an Avon shipping box and the old blankets from her former boudoir in the boat’s bow.
The next day a very nonchalant Spinney dropped the old shipping box by the lumber rack. About an hour later, Nora swung by and discarded the old blankets into the box. She casually kicked it under the rack. No-fuss or attention was made. About an hour later, Bubastis wandered by, briefly investigated the box while all in the shop carefully ignored her.
The next morning there was a line of dead mice by the shop door. The queen had accepted the new throne. All was right in the world.
A few weeks later, the Yacht owner stopped by to evaluate the progress on his boat. Perched on the bow was Bubastis surveying her domain. She condescended to allow him to scratch her ears. “My,” he said, ” I bet you run this yard just like you own it.” In the office, Spinney muttered, “She damned well does!”

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