Ship’s cats carried out vital duties, such as killing any rodents on board that consume foodstuffs and spread disease. However they also provided sailors long at sea a sense of home and familiarity. This one kept the navymen company aboard the RMS Empress of Canada.
“Mrs. Chippy” was a ship’s cat who served on Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition from 1914-17. “Mrs.” Chippy was actual a male cat, but the name stuck. He was especially beloved by the ship’s carpenter. A statue of the cat lies in repose on the carpenter’s grave.
Read about Carolyn Swanson’s seeing-eye cat here.