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  #1  
Old 5th March 2013, 17:48
frank elliott frank elliott is offline  
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Ships Cat

Have any of you galley men got a memorable story of a ship's cat
on board that you would have fed and become it's master and friend?
I ask this because I have a wonderful story of a stowaway cat,a truly remarkable cat that came on board at CapeTown,on a T2 tanker while taking on stores etc. It took up residence on the poop deck and roamed around the galley door and crew recreation room area. We had that cat from CapeTown to La Plata to Montevideo to Durban to
Little Aden to Singapore.
Any stories of a cat or any animal or bird on a ship? I can tell anyone the story of this CapeTown cat if they wish to know.
Cheers. Frank.
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  #2  
Old 5th March 2013, 18:42
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John Rogers John Rogers is offline  
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Lets hear it Frank.
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  #3  
Old 5th March 2013, 18:44
the brit the brit is offline  
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here, here , lets here it our Frank.
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  #4  
Old 5th March 2013, 23:22
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I didn't see this, but there was a young cat on board, would chase and pounce on anything, on the bridge for noon sights, it chased the mirror patterns, then when all the guys raised their sextants and the mirror patterns went over the side... so did the cat.


And, come on Frank.
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  #5  
Old 6th March 2013, 08:27
Leratty Leratty is offline  
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I don't recall any if you will permanent animals aboard. Sadly though some that crew bought when ashore. Most unfortunately ended up not surviving for a number of reasons though none as sad as post 4.
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  #6  
Old 6th March 2013, 08:38
oldman 80 oldman 80 is offline  
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QUOTE=frank elliott;660437]Have any of you galley men got a memorable story of a ship's cat
on board that you would have fed and become it's master and friend?
I ask this because I have a wonderful story of a stowaway cat,a truly remarkable cat that came on board at CapeTown,on a T2 tanker while taking on stores etc. It took up residence on the poop deck and roamed around the galley door and crew recreation room area. We had that cat from CapeTown to La Plata to Montevideo to Durban to
Little Aden to Singapore.
Quote:
Any stories of a cat or any animal or bird on a ship? I can tell anyone the story of this CapeTown cat if they wish to know.
Cheers. Frank.[/QUOTE]

************************************************** *********
Well there was the case of Lucky, the round the world pidgeon.
Can't remember the ensact dates though - but it was definately for a single three month period (approx) in the time window between April 1970 and April 1971.
Lucky, a london pidgeon, made it's home on the mv Benarmin of Leith whilst loading in KG V docks London. The ship departed London for Japan, and for voyage route experimental reason we went via Panama Canal to Yokohama and Kobe then continued through Taipei, Khoashiung, Hong Kong, Singapore, Port Swettenham Durban (Bunkers only) and back to London via Cape of Good Hope.
Having apparently enjoyed it's around the world cruise, it then departed and was not seen again.
During the voyage it flew around at will, never venturing from the vessel at sea.
In ports it was not seen at all until the vessels departure when it would re - appear.
It was fed and watered by the galley staff, and never once ventured into the vessels accommodation.
One of the London evening newspapers (I forget which one) carried the story on it's front page, when the vessel arrived back in London.
Headline :- "Lucky" the around the world pidgeon
Captain J.C. Allen was in command at the time. I was 2/0 (not galley) - but reckon you guys won't mind..
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  #7  
Old 6th March 2013, 15:33
alan ward alan ward is offline  
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Ronnie Greenwood on the the Owerri had a siamese cat called Smokie or when he was being affectionate Smokiepoo.This thing lived on board all the time and when h went home on leave it was left in the care of his steward.It used to wander arou nd getting in everyones way and i remember either Keith the purser or Alan the electrician chasing it along the highly polished alleyways knowing it wouldn
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  #8  
Old 6th March 2013, 21:47
Michael Taylor Michael Taylor is offline  
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I wonder if any Ellerman people remember Ming and Susca, the two siamese cats we had onboard the City of Lancaster? Have a photo of them somewhere catching locusts as we sailed South bound in the Red Sea. I believe the Electrician looked after them.
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  #9  
Old 7th March 2013, 07:02
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Hi Frank, Google: 'Simon HMS Amethyst' - great story.

Taff
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  #10  
Old 7th March 2013, 07:25
DURANGO DURANGO is offline  
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I have got a photo of the lampy in his cabin with one of the ship,s cat,s who sailed with us aboard the Eden back in 1963 in fact we had a few that trip amongst many other animals I will dig it out
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  #11  
Old 7th March 2013, 09:10
KEITH SEVILLE KEITH SEVILLE is offline  
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I don't remember of all the ships I looked after seeing a cat onboard.
Do remember a dog onboard which the Ships Master looked after in his cabin.
Back in the early seventies I would attend onboard the oil tanker Schelpwijk
and because of the strict quarantine laws the dog remained onboard until
it passed away.
The crew would take it for walks around the deck and even the Customs
volunteered to give it some exercise.
The dog was well loved by the crew and eventually was given a burial at
sea with full honours.

Regards
Keith
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  #12  
Old 7th March 2013, 11:18
gwzm gwzm is offline  
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We had a black moggie on board Brocklebank's SS Mahseer. I got the fright of my life one night when I went on watch to keep the inter-ship radio sched in the small hours. I didn't bother with the main lighting when the weather was hot and only had a little 15W lamp on to write up the log by. Anyway, I stuck my hand into the slot under the receiver shelf to get the radio log and, unseen by me, the cat was sleeping in there. It wasn't best pleased about getting a dig in the ribs and came out spitting and clawing - not good when you're still half asleep.
Later on it decided that we weren't very good company anyway and decamped to a Japanese fishing boat tied up on the other side of the quay in Colombo.
Happy days,
gwzm

Last edited by gwzm; 7th March 2013 at 11:19.. Reason: Typo.
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  #13  
Old 7th March 2013, 11:38
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John Briggs John Briggs is offline  
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When I was Master in John Manners, we drydocked in
Surabaya floating dock. I found a miserable little bit of skin &
bone hiding away on the dock and after some coaxing managed to rescue
it - and it was a faithful companion and friend for many voyages as
the ships cat. I used to whistle and it came running like a dog. Followed me everywhere and was a really great little animal.

When I was due to go on leave in Japan and before
departure Surubaya one trip I gave the cat to the agent who lived about 2
hours drive away up in the mountains. The following day just before
sailing this scruffy little thing with raw paws leaped on to the
gangway and, of course, came with us to Japan. Luckily he found a
good home with my wife's sister and lived a long and happy life.
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  #14  
Old 7th March 2013, 12:33
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Arriving in NSW to go on the slave trade for a year the OM declared the ship's cat on the manifest. By the time we came off charter I think we were on our third cat as customs would occasionaly ask to see the cat. Bobby our little cabin boy used to be sent ashore with a little bag of mince and a zip bag. The OM had instructed that the cat be kept in the poop magazine locker whilst in port but the cat had many friends. One period when we were catless I suggested to the OM that I flog the log book and state that I had sighted the cat being washed overboard in a force 9, but he didn't agree.
On the Polar Maid when swinging on the hook in the river Blackwater the ship's cat disappeared one stormy night. Unfortunately it had been pals with a monkey on the passage home from S. Georgia and had learned bad climbing habits. It used to run along the top of derricks, try to climb topping lifts, run along the bulwark tops chasing gulls. We thought a sudden gust of wind had taken it over the side.

Last edited by Binnacle; 7th March 2013 at 12:35.. Reason: sp
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  #15  
Old 7th March 2013, 12:36
frank elliott frank elliott is offline  
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Another animal story.

Tks for all the replies to my 'ShipsCat' thread. Last night had a phone call; from an old college friend,a John Clarke who became a R/O with Union Castle and he told me the story of 'TANTALLON CASTLE' a UC reefer on a voyage Beira-CapeTown-London,1962,with a cargo of fruit and on deck
held in stalls and pens lashed to the holds covers were a consignment of wild animals bound for zoo or zoos.There was elephants,giraffes,zebras,baboons and two leopards cared for by a vet and 2 gamekeepers with all the proper food and bedding stored.Anyway,one day while off the coast of Mauritania and a gamekeeper was cleaning out the pens a leopard broke free and did
a few dashes around the deck and when it couldn't find an escape decided to do a leopard leap over the side and into the ocean.The Bridge and Captain were alerted,by which time many miles distance had been done,the ship was turned around and it's course retracked in the hope of retrieving the precious animal
They lowered the gangway and readied a lifeboat and with some skilful navigation were soon to see the leopard swimming about.They went nearby and lowered the lifeboat with the 2nd O and a few crew members,caught the leopard by the scruff of the neck and hauled it into the lifeboat and sat on it in the bottom of the boat to hold it down,back at the gangway the leopard jumped onto the gangway and dashed like lightening up and back on deck as much as to say
'Promise I won't do that again'! Lucky leopard and they say cats have 9 lives! Lovely story.
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  #16  
Old 7th March 2013, 13:00
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We had a ship's moggie aboard RFA Tidereach out in the Far East in 1964. It used to go into competition with our Scots 3rd engineer when he was playing his bagpipes up on the focsle of many an evening.
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  #17  
Old 8th March 2013, 12:32
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On the good ship New Endeavour we had a ships cat called Sea Boots. On a trip to Newcastle (NSW) the decks were holystoned with caustic. They forgot the effect it would have on poor old Sea Boots and I (as medical officer!) was detailed to take him to the vet for treatment. Fortunately he recovered and enjoyed the sail home.
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  #18  
Old 8th March 2013, 21:10
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We had 2 budgies on the Dragoon, I was on there 81/2. They hated each other so had to be put in separate cages. Saturdays when they got cleaned out they used to be let out and they'd kick seven bells out of each other. One died that trip and we had to keep the it in the freezer until we hit port because they were declared on the manifest I believe.
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  #19  
Old 8th March 2013, 22:10
Jim S Jim S is offline   SN Supporter
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Mathura's Cat

Brocklebanks Mathura acquired a cat in Colombo - we believe he joined us from a Dutch ship. He was a lovely black and white cat. His head seemed out of proportion to his body and so he was re-named "Big 'Ead"
He sailed with us to Calcutta and back down the Indian coast.We headed for the the US East coast ports and while crossing the Atlantic he died, It was believed he had sampled some red lead paint.
As cats have to be declared on the crew manifest and the US Immigration Service demanded that all on the manifest have to be accounted for prior to departure Big 'Ead's demise did remove a potential problem should he have jumped ship in the good ole US of A.
At the time I accepted the official verdict of death by red lead poisoning but on reflection was our feline friend a victim of a felony?
If the photo of our cat has been attached you will note that it is out of focus - he was advancing on me and my camera with criminal intent on his mind.
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  #20  
Old 9th March 2013, 12:32
ALAN TYLER ALAN TYLER is offline  
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I remember waking up one morning on the "Oreosa" in the early 70s and hearing this meowing and low and behold there was this cute black furry ball in one of my drawers. Evidently I,d found it on the quayside in Newcastle, New Brunswick in Canada the night before. To keep the story short this little cat did at least two crossings to Avonmouth before being given to a lady friend back in Newcastle. Suprising how a little kitten can make the biggest of seaman go all soft-hearted. Just hope this well travelled little cat lived a long and happy life ah......
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  #21  
Old 29th March 2013, 20:19
Fred Field Fred Field is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank elliott View Post
'TANTALLON CASTLE' a UC reefer
.
The Tantallon Castle was not a 'reefer' but 'dry cargo', sister ship of the Tintagel Castle. They had the rather dubious distinction of having black hulls as opposed to the rest of the fleet, the Lavender Hull Mob.
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  #22  
Old 4th May 2013, 20:28
N.R.HOLMES N.R.HOLMES is offline  
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When i was in the port line we sometimes called into the Canaries to bunker on the way to Oz andN/Z.this was in the early 50s.The lads and officers would buy the canaries in little wooden cages ,I was butcher and i looked after the freezers and fridges and they would ask me for bits of greens and fruit.To cut a long story short thy had to be declared on arrival and if they died when on the coast I used to put them in the meat room and had to produce them in nearly every port of call till we sailed for home.Australia was very strict in that respect.After leaving the coast I am glad to say they were buried at sea with due ceremony.
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  #23  
Old 9th May 2013, 23:23
John Gillespie John Gillespie is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan ward View Post
Ronnie Greenwood on the the Owerri had a siamese cat called Smokie or when he was being affectionate Smokiepoo.This thing lived on board all the time and when h went home on leave it was left in the care of his steward.It used to wander arou nd getting in everyones way and i remember either Keith the purser or Alan the electrician chasing it along the highly polished alleyways knowing it wouldn
When Capt.Greenwood left the "Owerri" he left the cat behind him,probably to mean to put it into quarantine.The cat did another trip to West Africa with Capt.(Mary) Johnstone in command who didnt show much interest in the animal.A few of the officers,especially George the Mate and Al the 2nd Mate, were quite cruel to Smokie who used to hid in my wardrobe for comfort and safety.
However, the cat had a happy ending.When the vessel arrived back in Liverpool,Capt McWinnie the Marine Supt. smuggled it ashore to its new home.
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  #24  
Old 10th May 2013, 03:24
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I wouldn't fancy sailing with George or Al.
Anyone who could be cruel to a defenceless animal must be a nasty bastard!
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  #25  
Old 10th May 2013, 04:30
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A tale of two cats

My first story involves a cat that came aboard my first ship in a spanish port. The captain's wife thought it was adorable... Arthur Charles Murray Black, OBE, did not... and I was tasked about three times to take it ashore and come back without it.
On the last occasion in I think Valencia there was a small gas tanker ahead of us, on the poop at wharf level there was a door.... going by the cooking smells emanating from it the companionway led to the galley so I simply lofted it down the stairs.... didn't see it again.

Second story was only a few weeks back and involves a cat that had read somewhere that my wee ship was the best feeder on the Chilean coast. We got on well enough for about 3 days until it chose to cr*p in my laundry basket ... haven't seen it since either......

Maybe recycling past its 'best before' date centolla pate through a cat isn't such a good idea.....
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