Happy Friday everyone! We are fortunate to have Maggie back to write a guest post for us. First off though it the a-z blogging challenge. Today is the letter I : My word for the day is Inquisitive and that is definitely a word to describe all cats. They have to check out every box and bag brought into the house. Now on to our guest:
Hello, everyone, Maggie here once again! Today I’m going to share two happy stories and one cat legend to celebrate some very lucky maritime felines!
The illustrations that follow are courtesy of the National Maritime Museum in Great Britain. As you all probably know, the British Navy kept meticulous records of its war and peacetime voyages, and many of their ships’ crew members kept journals and sketchbooks which recorded amusing and endearing facts about their ships’ mascots.
Many other national Navies and merchant ships also kept good records, and the Museum of Maritime Pets has gathered much of that material into a central clearing house. Felix Cat Scout and I are very lucky to help our mom with researching new and old stories about seafaring kitties throughout the ages!
One very famous maritime cat hero was Oscar, a tuxedo who originally shipped out on the German battleship Bismarck, which was sunk in 1941. The British destroyer HMS Cossack rescued Oscar and some of his shipmates, but Cossack was sunk herself soon thereafter. The surviving crew, including Oscar, were transferred to the British aircraft carrier Ark Royal, which was then also torpedoed! Oscar ended up on a floating plank of wood, to be rescued yet another time. He became famous as a “bad omen,” so could not find another ship to join up with. Luckily for him, he spent his remaining days at a Sailors’ Home in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Talk about nine lives!
Oscar awaiting one of his rescues. G.S. Baker
Jimmy, owned by an Australian soldier who was wounded in WWI and could no longer care for him, was adopted by a British Navy cook serving on the battleship HMS King George V. Jimmy’s ship belonged to a large fleet taking part in the Battle of Jutland in 1916. During that battle, Jimmy was wounded by shrapnel, and was transferred several months later to the battle cruiser HMS Renown, where he preferred to hang out in the galley rather than on deck!
Jimmy later moved to a Cats’ Home in Chelsea, Great Britain, and lived peacefully until 1924.
Jimmy at leisure. G.S. Baker
And, now a little tidbit about ships’ legends and lore. Many seamen believe that cats have a sixth sense about impending danger, changes in the weather and other important matters affecting safety and harmony aboard ship. You all know about the Titanic, which sank on her maiden voyage from Britain to New York in 1912. Stories surfaced after the tragedy that a cat and her kittens had sailed with the ship from Belfast to Southampton, but they disembarked prior to the final leg of the journey.
What do you think caused mama cat to do that?