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Friday, May 3, 2013

Sea-going Cats

A cat is a kind of ship

And it is also a feline that loves going to sea

Julian Stockwin writes about the latter kind of cat in the May issue of Quarterdeck

When it became apparent that the mighty140-gun first rate Spanish ship-of-the-line Santisima Trinidas would not survive the raging storm that followed the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805,” he begins, “every effort was made to save those souls still alive on board. Officers and seamen were lowered with ropes from the stern and quarter galley windows as boats from nearby British warships came to rescue them. A lieutenant from HMS Ajax, whose boat was the last to leave the scene, reported, ‘everything alive was taken out, down to the ships cat.’

“The boat had put off from the starboard quarter of Santisima Trinidad when a cat ran out on the muzzle of one of thelower-deck guns and gave a plaintive ‘miaow.’ Ajaxs boat promptly returned to the stricken ship and carried the grateful creature off to safety.

“Scratch most mariners and you will find a soft spot for cats. I remember during my own time at sea strapping great engine room stokers, who you would pick a fight with at your peril, lovingly crafting miniature hammocks for the ships cat from scraps of canvas.”

In the May issue you can also read an interview of author JOSEPH HEYWOOD by editor GEORGE JEPSON, with a review of Heywood's latest, RED JACKET

There is also a story about Henry VIII's flagship, MARY ROSE

Download the free periodical HERE

Isn't the cover gorgeous?

Picture is of our much mourned last cat, Mystic, named after the seaport in Connecticut.  Because of the serape, it seemed appropriate....

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