Nellie the ship’s cat

Eric from Hawaii has a bad language problem…

Dear Nellie Cat

Hope you do not mind me contacting you from Hawaii. I am an owner and my ship’s moored in the harbor down there in Honolulu. The sailboat tied right up next to me has a charming ship’s kitty named Barney who’s not very old and we’re good friends. They also have a delectable little six year old child, whose name is best I do not divulge.

The little girl follows her father around like a sticky shadow when he is working maintenance on their boat, but I have noticed she is picking up her father’s habit of using bad language whenever a boat job goes wrong. This in itself was not too bad to begin with but lately I have noticed things are slipping and getting much worse. She is constantly playing with adorable Barney, which is no bad thing but yesterday I was lying on my bunk with the window hatch open when I happened to hear my neighbour’s young daughter using language to the kitty that a little girl of six really should not use…

I did not have the heart to get her into trouble with her mom and pop so I decided that I could perhaps resolve this problem myself. So the next day when she followed Barney aboard my own sailboat I told her that she had been heard using bad language that is not right for a charming little girl with curly pigtails to use. She looked at me all horrified, her eyes welled up and I really thought she might cry.

She begged me not to tell her father, then implored me between her tears to tell her how I knew. I did not want the little mite to think I had been spying on her, so I said that little Barney had told me. She looked at me all exasperated and cried…

“Noooo! And I’ve just fed the little bastard.” 

I hope you can give me some good advice Nellie. I think Barney might now be in some trouble.

Eric, Honolulu, Hawaii August 2020


Dear Eric

We are still laughing, our friendly veterinary Mildred is rolling on the floor doing that belly laugh which irritates us so. But seriously, you are doing the right thing to write in, poor Barney shouldn’t have to suffer this rough talk no matter how old that little girl might be.

What bothers me though is why you said Barney snitched on that little girl an’ told tales. We cats never do that, we always keep strum – but we do have a liking for gossip. You can’t go around using Barney as your barn door, regardless of whatever your good intentions might be.

If you wanna stop that little girl using bad language then me an’ my Mexican angels are a little divided on that score. There’s two schools of thought here, one is that you wash her mouth out with soap an’ the other is that you have a quiet word with her mom. You don’t wanna ruin that little girl’s love for her dad, she worships him like a horse an’ it’s whip, an’ you telling him that she uses the same foul language that he does is sure-fire gonna cause trouble. So leave it to her mom to sort, it’s their family an’ it’s hardly gonna cause a divorce.

As for Barney, he could end up piggy-in-the-middle. You’re gonna have to make it up to him now that you’ve got him into trouble. How about plenty of kitty treats with lots of friendly attention? That’s something I myself crave since I got landed on this stinking ship, being a kidnapped cat myself it makes me appreciate those little things that make this cat’s life a little more bearable.

I hope all this helps honey. An’ I hope that poor loud-mouthed Barney gets to mend his relationship with that little girl.

Nellie The Ship’s Cat

August 2020

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