Cat Island Part 2: Sidney Poitier

Right- Sidney Poitier. You know the actor? He’s from Cat Island.

So, while we definitely did not meet Mr Poitier since he passed away last year, we did make the aquaintence of a special little girl who we would call Sidney Poitier, aka Sidney Potcake, aka Sidney Bean.

From my journal April 15, 2023

“Nine days in New Bight. It has been very nice. Moving to Old Bight, now. We will be heading to GT tomorrow. While here, we went to the Hermitage, got provisions at the best store we’ve been to since Maxwells, did laundry, went to Greenwood Resort for lunch, then the healing pond. Had lunches and suppers and beers and ice cream. Met lovely people, as always. We will anchor near the Rollezz Resort tonight. The biggest event while in New Bight is having Sidney Poitier find us. Obviously not the deceased actor. We now have what looks to be a Dorgi Potcake aboard. She may still go to Ventolines, but for now is Voyager crew. She’s 3-4 months old and an absolute sweetie (when she’s not a veloceraptor).”

Remember the Twin Palm Beach Resort in the previous post? Well, Jennifer and I got dropped off there to go get a rental car from Gilberts. We hadn’t walked too far when this tiny puppy came running down the deserted road towards us as if her little life depended on it, and it likely did. And us, being us, picked her up and loved on her skinny little body. We proceeded down the road, looking for whom she might belong. We came across a young man with several other larger dogs, mostly Belgion Malanois type dogs and a bearded collie. Now, understand, potcakes are the norm. This wasn’t unusual. This little thing did not fit in his pack. He was doing some bait fishing in the lagoon nearby and said that yes, “the little weinie” is his. He thought she was funny and claimed to have just gotten her.

Let me paint a quick picture. The dogs are all very skinny. Two are younger than a year old, the mama is obvisouly lactating and he says she’s pregnant again. They all are covered with fleas and ticks. He doesn’t look to be in much better shape.

So, we put the pup down and are walking away when the older pups, then the mama go after the tiny puppy. Like seriously, goes after her. It’s become obvious to us that she does NOT belong here. I grabbed her and Jennifer asks how much. She was also eyeing the grey, mangy dog that looks like her Charles. However, she offers $20, he takes $40. We say, “done” and suddenly we have a Royal Bahamian Potcake (look it up, it’s real).

Right. Now we have A LOT of explaining to do back at home with our husbands. But honestly, we tell ourselves over and over, who could have left her there??? She is roughly 3lbs of skin and bones. She is covered in not only ticks and fleas, but serious scars from injuries. Her coat is sparse and coarse. She does indeed look like she has some dachshund or corgi in her, with her short little legs and long body. It goes without saying, we were already completely smitten with her. We really have no plan beyond getting her away from her previous home.

We continue our walk to the store to get the car. Another SUV, as she knows we are going to the healing pond- therefore another adventure. All the while planning how to explain this spontaneous new addition to crew. But, who’s crew? Is she Ventolines or Voyager? (We did also purchase a large bag of dog food and took it back to the man with we then found out, 8 dogs….)

We eventually make it back to the beach where the rest of the family is to meet us. Both dingies arrive at the same time and all at once the questions are yelled. “What is that?” “Take it back!” “Is that a puppy?” So, we told our story and no one could blame us for picking her up and running with her. But, neither of the men were especially wanting her on their boat. Her ears were so full of ticks you couldn’t see past them. They were everywhere, as were the fleas. Matthew went back to our boat to get tweezers and the flea and tick treatment we still had on board from when King was a puppy. We gave her the first dose and we all took turns plucking ticks from her skin. It was heartbreaking. She was exhausted. We called home to our vet and good friend, Lynn. She advised us on how to proceed and tell her age. She was between 3-4 months old and could safely be given the treatments. She also recommended making a Seresto collar from the ends of the big dogs, which worked well. Her pale gums showed she was anemic from all the parasites and she was incredibly malnourished. Lynn made suggestions for all of this. We can’t thank her enough!

Later, we were having supper at the fish fry and met another couple who had a chi-yorkie puppy. She just happened to have a Bahamian worm medicine that she shared with us. We bought puppy show and gave her table scraps, as this was likely the kind of diet she was used to- scrounging. So, Sidney Poitier as we had come to name her, was well on her way to becoming a healthy puppy.

We have tried at every stop to find a vet to look at her and give her shots. However, the out islands don’t have one in residence. They come for a day or week, here and there, but never where or when we are. So, as soon as we make landfall in the US, she will have all that to look forward to. By the time you read this, it will have happened.

So- her she is. Introducing our Royal Bahamian Potcake, Sidney Poitier. We have said repeatedly that she knew what she was doing when she ran to us! She has hit the jackpot when it comes to a dog’s life, regardless of who’s boat she ended up on. But, it can be confirmed that she is officially a Voyager crewmate.

Royal Bahamian Potcake:

The potcake dog is a mixed-breed dog type found on several Caribbean islands. Its name comes from a traditional local dish of seasoned rice and pigeon peas; overcooked rice that sticks to the bottom of the cooking pot is commonly mixed with other leftovers and fed to the dogs. Wikipedia

Height: 2 ft. (Adult, At the withers)

Lifespan: 10 – 12 years (Domestic)

Mass: 24 – 60 lbs (Adult)

Coat: Smooth, short coat, little or no undercoat

Color: Brown, black, white, red, cream, yellow, particolour

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