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Maine Coon Acts As Deaf Sailor’s Ears At Sea

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    When Paul J. Thompson takes to the sea in his sailboat, La Chica, he can’t hear the sound of the waves or the approach of other vessels. But he doesn’t have to. He has a cat for that.

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    Via: Adventure cats

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    Strauss von Skattebol of Rebelpaws, a.k.a. Skatty, is a 6-month-old polydactyl Maine Coon, who, at his young age, has already proved himself to be an essential part of Thompson’s crew.

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    Via: Adventure cats

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    Thompson — a small-craft naval architect and computer programmer in Auckland, New Zealand — is the first deaf person to sail across the Southern Atlantic Ocean alone, and he built his 32-foot sailboat himself.

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    Via: Adventure cats

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    With Skatty’s four paws and furry ears on board, these two sailors make an unstoppable duo.

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    Via: Adventure cats

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    “Without any training, Skatty has twigged that I don’t hear,” Thompson said. “He lets me know if a boat comes alongside, people are at my door (ashore) and when my phone receives text messages.”

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    Via: Adventure cats

    "Maine Coons are at home around water and in this case, Skatty is a polydactyl cat, which is what ships' cats traditionally are," Thompson said. "The old time sailors believed that the big polydactyl paws gave them a better grip on the deck and also made them better mousers. So for me, as a sailor, it is very satisfying to have a polydactyl cat."


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    Skatty and Thompson spend their summers aboard La Chica, and in the winter, they split time between the boat and a nearby apartment. When on board, Skatty can usually be found with Thompson or in one of his favorite spots.

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    Via: Adventure Cats
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