They had names such as Tom the Terror, Wockle, Bounce, and Dirty Face. They traveled thousands of miles on the most storied warships with some of the saltiest sailors. They were valued members of the crew, often issued custom miniature uniforms and their own tiny hammocks. Many never set a paw on dry land during their entire lives. They were the cats that served in the world’s navies.
Cats have been on ships for almost as long as humans have been going to sea, and sailors have been largely responsible for spreading cats across the globe. Ancient Egyptian tomb paintings depict cats hunting from boats sailing down the Nile, while Phoenicians recognized the value of controlling the rodent population on their