Until they were banned in 1975, for ‘health and safety reasons’, cats played an important role in the Royal Navy. However, they haven’t had the recognition they deserve so we thought we would rectify that.
A ship needs a cat like the waves need the sea. You could have a ship without a cat but why would you bother? They catch mice & rats all day long & this makes them happy! Not many sailors could say the same.
Rodents like to chew through things like wires & food. Both are needed for long journeys. Cats can also be great company, sometimes. It all depends on the cat and whether they are in the mood to be friendly.
Let’s celebrate these heroic cats who helped make life at sea a little bit more enjoyable for a lot of people.
1) Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Blackie, the ship's cat of HMS Prince of Wales in 1941.
2) HMS Hawkin's ship cats
3) HMS Hermione ship's cat 'Convoy'
4) Lt Cdr R H Palmer plays with Peebles, the ship's cat, on board HMS Western Isles
5) Captain A. J. Hailey in uniform with a cat on the first C.P. R.M.S. Empress of Canada
6) 'Pincher', the mascot of HMS Vindex is shown sitting on the propeller of one of the sea planes carried by the ship.
7) The ship's cat on board the CSS Acadia
8) Tiddles at his station on board HMS Victorious
9) Pooli served on board a United States attack transport during the Second World War.
10) A seaman on the 'Pommern' enticing the ship's cat up one of the shrouds