Mike, The British Museum Cat (1909-1929)

A tabby cat named Mike kept mice, pigeons and dogs at bay at the British Museum for almost 20 years.  Mike came to the attention of the well-known Egyptologist E. A. Wallis Budge when the resident cat Black Jack deposited a kitten at his feet, the future Mike.  He was noted to be friendly and […]

Trim, the Ship’s Cat

Trim was a seafaring cat who accompanied Matthew Flinders on his many adventures. Trim was born on board the HMS Reliance in 1799 while it was sailing from the Cape of Good Hope to Botany Bay. The 25 year old lieutenant, Matthew Flinders, took a liking to the kitten right away after seeing what a […]

Cats in the 20th Century (Cats in War-Simon)

Several cats earned awards and medals for their distinguished service during wartime.  Created in 1943, the Dickin Medal, also known as the Animals Victory Cross, is awarded to animals for “conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty” while serving in Britian’s military or civil service.  The only cat to have gotten this award to date is […]

Cats in 20th Century History (Mrs. Chippy)

As WWI was just beginning, an adventurous cat, Mrs. Chippy, accompanied Sir Ernest Shackleton‘s Antarctic voyage of 1914/15.  Mrs. Chippy, a grey tabby tomcat, acquired his name because he constantly followed around the ship’s carpenter and master shipwright Henry (Harry) McNeish.  “Chippy” is a British nickname for a carpenter, and even though the cat was […]

Cats in 20th Century History (Part 2-Kiddo, Fifi, Whoopsy and Patsy)

As in all man’s endeavors, the cat was destined to accompany him in flight as well. Kiddo, the stray hangar cat, was the first feline to cross the Atlantic in 1910.  Taken aboard the dirigible America at Atlantic City, New Jersey, Kiddo was meant to serve as a good luck charm, to enable the flight to […]

CATS IN THE ENLIGHTENMENT (PART 3 – Samuel Johnson and Hodge)

Samuel Johnson, the father of the first English dictionary, had a cat named Hodge for whom he cared deeply.  James Boswell, Johnson’s friend and biographer, found Johnson’s relationship with Hodge so important that he included a description of this bond in Johnson’s biography.  “Nor would it be just under this head, to omit the fondness […]

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