On my recent trip to Amsterdam, I stayed with a friend whose new apartment just happens to be right around the corner from the Poezenboot. Naturally, I went to visit. On the day I went, the Poezenboot’s hours of operation were from 1:00 to 3:00. I arrived at 12:30. Sitting outside, on the sidewalk adjacent to the stairs leading down to the boat, were four people who I assumed were employees. I recognized Ruth immediately. Before I could re-introduce myself, Ruth said that they don’t open until 1:00. “Yes”, she said, giving me a look that said, “Do I know you?”
“I don’t know if you remember that about two years ago, I visited and wrote an article about the Poezenboot for a magazine…”
“Oh yes! Of course! You’re the doctor!” she exclaimed. I told her that I was visiting Amsterdam and that I wanted to stop by and say hi and see the kitties again. I asked if Judith still worked there. “Yes, Judith is inside. Come on in!”
I descended the stairs into the front reception area, where Judith was working. “Judith, remember the doctor who visited and wrote about us two years ago?”, said Ruth. “He’s back for a visit!” Judith instantly recognized me and greeted me warmly. After a brief chat, she led me through the door to the main area, where I found about a dozen cats milling about.
Although the boat was brimming with cute kitties, the most striking had to be Sinatra. One look at those blue eyes and it’s obvious how he earned the moniker.
“You should know, we’re visiting the Poezenboot because of that Catnip article you spoke about before”, said the woman to me. She had overheard me discussing the article with Ruth when I approached the boat. “We’re from Massachusetts, and we read the article you wrote for Catnip in our veterinarian’s waiting room. We said that if we ever visit Amsterdam, we need to check out the Poezenboot.”
Writers always wonder if the articles we write have much of an impact on their audience. We hope so, but without much feedback, we’re never really sure. It was great to hear that my article did have a direct, and doubly great to witness it firsthand. I’m sure that the visitors made a much-needed donation while they were visiting, as the Poezenboot operates on a shoestring budget.
Enjoy the photos. Hopefully others will be inspired to visit, and make a donation after reading about my visits. It’s really a fun, unconventional thing to do when visiting Amsterdam, and will delight all cat lovers.