Cat Security


I really rather like a grocery store where the owner’s tabby cat follows you around as you shop. Initial customer assessment starts as you enter, the cat sitting under the counter, a slight sneer emanating as you glance at its pervasive feline arrogance. No other animal does arrogance and distain like the cat.

Security in the d’Escousse convenience store on Isle Madame in Nova Scotia is a moggy searching out a tickle under its chin in between dried goods and sausages. It’s an all round much more pleasant shopping experience than trawling the aisles while Big Brother is watching you in Sainsbury’s or Walmart. It felt like being back in Bickertons General Hardware shop in Bellingham, Northumberland when I was a kid, several decades ago.

Our spend, milk, bread and bananas is unlikely to keep Mog in Finest Gourmet Cat Food and tickling sticks indefinitely. But we’d be happy to return again to this fine establishment and will spread the word about this lovely place. I think in some circles this is called Marketing.

We left Halifax on our way to Cape Breton about a week ago. We’ve had more than our deserved quota of fog and rain. Thankfully the last two days have lifted the fog and our spirits. Until getting to d’Escousse, all our anchorages have felt remote and off the beaten track. Seeing any other boats is a rarity.

Except for West Liscombe which has a remote hotel, about 5 miles up a river. Boaters have free access to the indoor pool, sauna and whirlpool. Oh so nice after a day in damp dreariness.

Weather forecasts feel like they’ve come courtesy of the Donald. We were advised we’d get southwest winds of 15 to 20 knots, great for our intended trip, and in fact were delivered NE winds, bang on the nose slowing progress. When combined with the fog, we were keen for an Obama Meteorological offering.

As often in politics if you wait long enough, ignore what’s being broadcast, things sort themselves out without any interventions. Tomorrow we head to St Peters, through a lock into the Bras d’Or Lake. My guide book suggests….”in summer, the water temperature is so warm (65 to 70 degrees) that fog is rare”. Small mercies.

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