K A T Y - K I T T Y - S H I P S C A T
Kitty-Cat is always on the lookout for any unwanted guests onboard the Elizabeth Swann. She takes a particular shine to Cleopatra, which the former queen of Egypt reciprocates. Being an ardent admirer of felines.
Katy-Cat, or Kitty-Cat, is the ships mascot. An exceptionally well behaved pet that lives onboard. Katy has her own bunks in the helm and aft cabin, and takes great delight in fishing from the Elizabeth Swann's stern.
John adopted Katie-Cat, when he found her as a stray, prowling in and around the hangar at Nelson's Cove, Australia. The adorable feline took an instant shine to John. Soon after, she would be seen waiting in the compound waiting for her new friend to return. She would meow for many minutes, every time John locked up the boat shed, got in his Jeep, and drove away.
They developed a bond, where 'Katy' would follow John around as he worked. Then one day as John and Dan were taking the Elizabeth Swan out for trials, the striking tabby, jumped onboard. Scampering into the rear cabin.
Katy is a tabby, descended from the Mau temple cats of Ancient Egypt.
The two men could not find it in themselves to eject her, since the planned cruise was short. She was allowed to accompany them.
Strangely, Katy, took to the ship like butter on toast. She sat quietly in the spare helm position, watching the ocean scene. Purring all the while, to have her new companions. It soon became customary to call 'Kitty' when going out for a spin on the waves. No need, because Katy was always ready. The crew almost tripping up on their feline passenger, as she rushed to be involved in the next adventure.
Then, one day John and Dan discovered Katy sitting on the central hull astern. They wondered what she was up to, because cats are known to hate water. They watched fascinated, as Kitty pulled a sizeable bright silver fish from the water. Then, proceeded to eat some of the meat raw, turning to acknowledge her master, as John and Dan could not stop laughing at her antics. At that, she brought the rest of the Australian dhufish to John, placing at his feet.
"Hold on a mo," said John, "isn't that a Dhufish?"
"Not sure," Dan replied. "Looks like a Perch to me."
They took the fish into the galley, and prepared it rather in a rush, just taking off a couple of fillets. Dhufish are more commonaly found in western Australian waters. The fillets went into a pan with some butter, and a couple of minutes later, the duo had polished off the impromptu meal, with huge smiles on their faces.
"Wow, that was good".
Dan enjoined, "sure was, tasty, succulent and satisfying. Well done Katy."
Katy came back into the galley, when John gave her some of the cooked scraps. Which Katy devoured with relish. And that was how Katy learned that if she caught fish and gave them to John or Dan, that they gave it back to her as an even tastier meal. Though, she'd still eat fish raw.
Once or twice, Katy had been dragged off the rear hull, when her enthusiasm landed her with something bigger than she'd bargained for, and the fish pulled her into the water. The bedraggled feline would scurry back onboard, whining loudly, until she'd licked herself clean and dry. She soon learned not to try to land anything too big.
On another memorable occasion, the Swann had docked for long enough, that with her bulkhead doors open, a mouse had scampered onboard. Not long after, the ship took to the waves, when John and Dan noticed that Katy would not budge from the galley area. Sitting, staring intently at the seating around the dining table, where a couple of empty boxes had been discarded, ready to be pulped.
The skipper and mate watched with interest, realising that she was in hunting mode. They remained quietly just outside, not wanting to distract the huntress. When, all of a sudden, Katy pounced, coming from under the table with the helpless rodent in her mouth.
She then placed the mouse at John's feet.
"No Kitty, we don't cook mice."
John picked up the dead mouse, thanked Kitty with several strokes, and threw the animal into the sea. "Good girl. Good Girl. Well done Katy-Cat."
With that he rewarded his faithful friend with some delicious cat biscuits. And, Katy purred as she devoured one of her favourite snacks.
From that point on, John knew if any stray pests did board the Swann, they were in for trouble.
TREASURE ISLAND - CAST
In Ancient Egypt, cats were sacred animals. When a pet died, the whole family would go into mourning. It was also a punishable offence to be cruel to, or injure a cat. John and Cleopatra feel the same way.
Sir Winston Churchill restrains "Blackie," the ship's cat, aboard HMS Prince of Wales, to stop the feline crossing a gangway to board an American destroyer, during the Atlantic Conference of August 1941. Churchill had his own cat, named "Nelson." With whom it is known that he carried on conversations with his large gray feline. Especially, during London air raids.
OTHER FAMOUS CATS ON SHIPS
Cats have a long history of being deemed mystical and occasionally revered as deities; as a result, numerous myths and superstitions developed among the notoriously superstitious maritime population. Cats were thought to possess supernatural abilities that could shield ships from hazardous weather. Sometimes, drollingly, wives of fishermen would also keep black cats at home in the hopes that they could use their power to keep their husbands safe at sea.
When Bismarck sank following a devastating naval battle on May 27, 1941, only a small group of the crew could survive the engagement. Months later, another ship called HMS Cossack was severely damaged by a torpedo fired by the German submarine U-563 when she was escorting a convoy from Gibraltar to Great Britain. Her destiny was the same. HMS Cossack sank eventually and most of the crew lost their souls. The living and able-to-fight transferred to HMS Ark Royal. However, the unceasing inflow of water forced attempts to tow Ark Royal to Gibraltar impossible. About 30 miles from Gibraltar, the ship rolled over and sank. All but one of the crew were rescued owing to the ship’s modest pace of sinking.
SOME FAMOUS SHIP'S CATS
Apart from 'The Unsinkable Sam,' there are plenty of famous felines onboard who are often honored with their contribution.
Draft scripts for Kulo-Luna and Cleopatra The Mummy are published with 'Treasure Island' under development for 2024 release. The three films could be shot back to back - as a franchise - to make the most of the Elizabeth Swann. Screenplays available in Final Draft format for Studio executives, producers & directors.
The rights of Jameson Hunter and Cleaner Ocean Foundation to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with section 77 and 78 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. This website and the associated Treasure Island artwork is Copyright © 2023 Cleaner Ocean Foundation and Jameson Hunter. This is a work of fiction. Names and characters are the product of the authors' imaginations, and any resemblance to any person, living or departed, is entirely coincidental.