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Experience a world afloat with Noah and his “seacats”

by Therese on December 16, 2009

in Book Reviews, Cats

Experience a world afloat with Noah and his “seacats”
by guest blogger Nicole Sours Larson

The Adventures of Noah and His SeacatsIf you’re looking for a gift for a special person who loves cats and other animals and has an interest in the sea and the environment, you might consider a charming novel which appeals to both children and adults.

Capt. Marty Fogel is a natural-born storyteller, teacher and student of the seas. In his recently published novel, “The Adventures of Noah and His Seacats,” he uses all of these talents, combined with a wealth of nautical experience, keen eye for observation and clear love of animals and nature to craft an engaging yarn about a young boy’s exploits with his two “seacats” as they mature together on his family’s sailboat.

Through the young Noah we learn about sea lions, whales, sailing, scuba diving and, of course, cats who readily adapt to life at sea. Together we experience the challenges which Noah must overcome, all the while protecting his mischievous and spunky seacats. If you enjoy boats, cats and the marine environment, you’ll appreciate this book with its environmental and educational themes, no matter your age. It’s pleasurable reading and a great gift for both middle-grade children and adults.

Fogel, 60, a Coast Guard-certified captain with a 100-ton license and professional photographer, lives with his wife Jeannine and recently adopted rescue dog Zeke aboard their 38-foot Panda sailboat at a Shelter Island marina on San Diego Bay. Zeke, a purebred white miniature poodle, survived two months alone without food or water in the backyard of a foreclosed home in Chula Vista, a border city south of San Diego hard hit by the foreclosure crisis, before being spotted and rescued by a kindly passerby.

While he skippers sailing and whale-watch cruises for Sail San Diego and handles yacht deliveries along the west coast, his real love is teaching boat owners, both sail and power, how to use and enjoy their boats while appreciating the marine environment.

Captain Marty Fogel

Captain Marty Fogel

Fogel’s love of the sea, sea creatures, cats and the seafaring life comes through in the characters who inhabit Noah’s world on the sailing vessel Landfall, which his parents use for marine research.

Ten-year-old Noah’s two “seacats,” Zephyr and Kiri, whom he rescues from the sea as kittens, are based on Fogel’s own much-loved cats, also named Zephyr and Kiri, who shared many of their attributes and antics. Both the real and the fictional cats were “liveaboards” who could swim and get back aboard the boat by climbing burlap “ladders” hung over the side of the boat, Fogel explained.

All of the cats in the book, including the cats of “Catland,” as the marina became after dark when the cats came out, were named and modeled after real cats who’d lived with friends or at marinas where he and his wife resided.

Fogel wrote the upbeat book partly as a tribute to his seacats after their passing, but also to convey a flavor of the marine world most people never experience.

“It’s also about bringing out the best in everybody. We spend so little time reminding them of the good things they are as people,” Fogel said.

While “The Adventures of Noah and His Seacats” is available from online vendors including Amazon.com, signed and inscribed copies are available only through Fogel’s website, www.oceanharmony.net, where they retail for $16.95, including shipping. You can also order by email at captmarty@oceanharmony.net, or phone at 619-459-9642.

Nicole Larson is a San Diego writer who focuses on pets and boats — particularly socially responsible pet parenting!

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