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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

Meet Bailey, the Cat Who Loves to Sail

This meezer may be only three years old, but inside he's an old salt who appreciates the many joys of a life spent at sea.

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Louise Kennedy

Sporty in a Lifejacket

Bailey Blue, a seal-point Siamese, was adopted by writer Louise Kennedy in 2012 when he was just 10 months old. Kennedy was living on a boat part-time, and gradually introduced her new kitten to the ocean. They now live full-time on the boat Nocturne, docking outside Rome when not at sea. Bailey owns three lifejackets, and wears one primarily when sailing or in the dinghy (shown here) exploring islands, bays, and caves. Fortunately, Bailey has never sprung a leak with his claws.

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Louise Kennedy

Going for a Swim

Bailey has fallen into the water twice—once when it was dark and once when he was sleeping on the deck and rolled off. But he’s also gone for a swim on his own. One beautiful day, when anchored near Ponza, he leapt off the boat and did a few laps, much to the astonishment of his humans. Just in case the urge ever strikes again, they always keep a rope for Bailey to climb back on board.

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Louise Kennedy

On the Boom

Balancing is easy for this sure-footed feline.

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Louise Kennedy

Boxed In

Like any boat, the Nocturne is full of cat-sized nooks and crannies that humans can’t wedge into. Bailey is a very friendly cat, but sometimes he needs a little privacy.

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Louise Kennedy

With “Dinghy Devils”

It takes a lot to irk the easy-going Bailey, but these seabirds manage to do it with their incessant cackling and fish stealing. And there’s also their annoying habit of flying away whenever he tries to get close.

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Louise Kennedy

Just Warming Up

The Nocturne has a wind turbine and solar panels to generate energy. Not only are the panels environmentally friendly, they’re a cozy place to nap.

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Louise Kennedy

Cat Toys in Nature

For a boat cat, every day brings a different aquatic plaything: a starfish, a crab, seaweed, a flying fish….

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Louise Kennedy

Bailey the Book

All of these photos are from the new book, Bailey the Boat Cat, which were originally posted on the blog that Kennedy keeps about their adventures.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest