In the 5 weeks that I’ve been building our new van there has been one thing worrying me.
Willow was so attached to our old van. It was her entire world and I took that away. What if she doesn’t like the new van?
Nearly every day since picking up the van in November I have been busy working on making it into our home.
I have built the roof rack, cupboards, installed a battery system, a bed, and have now started on the kitchen.
Just a few days ago I brought Willow inside while I worked on some electrics. She scouted the vehicle thoroughly before looking up as she meowed restlessly, as if to say, this is not my home! Where is our home?
Oh Willow! It is not finished yet, please give it time!
With Christmas approaching I was excited at the prospect of a few nights away up the coast and a break from the build. But was the van ready for our first adventure?
Hesitantly, I am going to say.. probably!
With some sheets as make-shift curtains, our new mattress, insulation as cushions, and a loose cable running to the refrigerator, we set off from Hobart.
Though it seems that the heart of a van cat is not easily discouraged, for as soon as we started moving Willow found her place. She jumped up on to the bed and burrowed underneath the blankets as the van started moving and I sighed in relief.
For those of you who have followed our adventures for a while will know that we don’t often go from A to B and as such we found ourselves on a lonely gravel road on our way to the coast.
It was a good opportunity to flick the Sprinter into 4×4 and see how it handles. With all wheels now gripping the road it took the corners with ease, the suspension performing well now the van has some weight in it.
We soon found a nice spot to pull over and Willow emerged from her cat nest/blanket fort. I had some lunch which was finished off with fresh raspberries from my brother’s garden. Willow had some treats before looking outside expectantly.
As I opened the sliding door she checked it was safe before jumping out, then found herself in the usual spot for a van cat – underneath the van!
So as I looked around Willow watched me from her safe place.
It wasn’t long before Willow had adjusted to the new area and was ready for some exploring of her own. She found some grasses that interested her greatly and chewed on them as I photographed an old wallaby skull.
In the distance the rumble of a car engine pricked Willow’s ears up as I wondered what she was going to do. Would she bolt into the bush?
Slowly, she slinked back underneath the van, made her way to the other side, then hopped back inside just in time for the car to pass – back to her safety, and back to her.. home!
So as I got back in, slightly annoyed that our exploration was cut short, I realised that my biggest worry was allayed, and that our new van was now a home.
Now we are parked at a lookout with vantage over Great Oyster Bay and Maria Island – over the steel blue water and white sandy beaches that Tasmania is renowned for. Tomorrow we will be having Christmas lunch with my parents, but until then a very sleepy van cat takes her afternoon nap on blanket covered square of insulation..
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