35 Vintage Cats At Sea

Cats and sailors go way back.

1. Seaman with a cat and kitten, ca. 1910.

Photograph by Sam Hood. Source: Australian National Maritime Museum.

2. A large cat sitting on the pilot wheel in the interior of the pilot house of an unidentified boat

Source: University of Wisconsin Digital Collections.

3. A cat sitting in the fairlead of the barque PAMIR, 1947

Photograph by Sam Hood. Source: Australian National Maritime Museum.

4. The cats of the USS Mississippi climb ladders to enter their hammock, ca. 1925

Source: U.S. Naval Institute.

5. “Whisky” the cat, pet and mascot of HMS Duke of York, ca. 1940s

Source: National Maritime Museum.

6. Sailor and kitten, 1912

Source: Nationaal Archief (the Netherlands).

7. Teaching a cat a trick aboard the cruiser Olympia, ca. 1898

Source: Independence Seaport Museum.

8. Melvin Vaniman and his cat aboard the steamship Trent off Bermuda, Oct. 1910

Via Shorpy.

9. Sailor with a ship’s cat aboard the cruiser Olympia, ca. 1898

Source: Independence Seaport Museum.

10. Two roustabouts on the Showboat Bart with a turtle and a cat

Source: University of Wisconsin Digital Collections

11. Pilots on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier relax by playing with the ship’s mascot, July 1944

“Shortly after this picture was taken they were flying far above the Atlantic on a battle-mission.” Probably the USS Ranger. Source: U.S. Naval Institute.

12. Two cats pose in the breech of a 4” caliber naval gun of an unidentified ship prior to World War One

Source: U.S. Naval Institute.

13. Seaman on the SMS “Pommern” enticing the ship’s cat up on of the shrouds

Source: National Maritime Museum.

14. “Radio Cat,” ca. 1917-34, Boston

Photograph by Leslie Jones. Source: Boston Public Library.

15. USS Flusser cat “Wockle” on the capstan in Venice, Italy, 1924-25

Source: U.S. Naval Institute.

16. “Bilgewater,” the mascot of the Coast Guard Academy, ca. 1944

“He’s modeling the new wartime grey cadet uniform.” Source: U.S. Naval Institute.

17. French sailors with a kitten, Seattle, 1950

“French sailors play with a cat as they wait to take over six LSSLs (Landing Ship Support, Light) being given to France by the U.S. Navy under the defense aid pact.” Source: U.S. Naval Institute.

18. Mascot “Saipan” of the USS New Mexico, ca. 1944

“The New Mexico provided support during the U.S. Marine invasion of Saipan in 1944, so it it likely the cat was rescued after the battle.” Source: U.S. Naval Institute.

19. Crewman of the USS Texas pose with mascot dog and cat on the muzzle of one of the ship’s guns, ca. 1900

“Built in 1892, The Texas was the first U.S. battleship and gained a reputation for being jinxed because of a series of accidents. The crew probably hoped the cat and dog would change the ship’s luck.” Source: U.S. Naval Institute.

20. Kitten on HMS Aurora, 1914

Source: National Maritime Museum.

21. “Pooli,” who served aboard an attack transport during World War Two, 1959

“War Veteran ‘Pooli’, who rates three service ribbons and four battle stars, shows she can still get into her old uniform as she prepares to celebrate her 15th birthday.” Source: U.S. Naval Institute.

22. With the ship’s tailor aboard the USS New York, ca. 1896

Detroit Publishing Company, via Shorpy.

23. A group of sailors surround the ship’s cat, “Convoy,” as he sleeps in a miniature hammock on board HMS Hermione, November 1941

Source: Imperial War Museum (item A 6410), via Wikipedia.

24. Kitten on Steam Yacht “Morning,” 1902

Source: National Maritime Museum.

25. Seven-year-old Robin Tucker presenting a kitten to the “good ship Yankee” at the 1939 World’s Fair

Source: New York Public Library.

26. Black cat and spaniel on HMS Barham, ca. 1916

Source: National Maritime Museum.

27. Able Seaman J. T. Walker with his dog “Shrapnel” and Able Seaman Gamble with his cat “Salvo” aboard the HMAS Sydney, 1940

Source: Australian War Memorial collection.

28. Crew of the USS Nahant with their two cats, ca. 1898

“The Nahant was an ironclad monitor that joined the fleet of Rear Admiral Samual Francis du Pont (for whom Washington, DC’s Dupont Circle in named) in the attack on Charleston Harbor in 1863.” Source: U.S. Naval Institute.

29. A cat on the HMAS Encounter, ca. 1916

“The feline mascot of the light cruiser HMAS Encounter, peering from the muzzle of a 6 inch gun.” Source: Australian War Memorial Collection.

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