Purrlitzer Prize 

Ship’s cat rescued!

COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW, May/June 1984 — [Ralph Pulitzer established] a Bureau of Accuracy and Fair Play at his New York World in 1913. According to a 1916 issue of American Magazine, Pulitzer had become concerned about the increasing blurriness between “that which is true and that which is false” in the paper.   Read more


 Spinning a yarn 

Snake and simians frolic

THE NEW YORK TIMES 26 April 1921 — Like some old, incredible sea tale, but vouched for, was the story told yesterday of the Lampert & Holt steamer Vauban from South America. Escaped monkeys and a playful python which chased a cat overboard and itself disappeared over the side, figure in the yarn related by the cook and the crew.   Read more


 Fortune’s swings 

It chanced the shippes Cat lept into the Sea

1553. THE VOYAGE OF M. JOHN LOCKE TO JERUSALEM.I John Locke, accompanied with Maister Anthony Rastwold, and divers other, Hollanders, Zelanders, Almaines and French pilgrimes entered the good shippe called Fila Cavena of Venice, the 16 of July 1553. and the 17 in the morning we weighed our anker and sayled towardes the coast of Istria, to the port of Rouigno, and the said day there came aboard of our ship the Percevena of the shippe named Tamisari, for to receive the rest of all the pilgrimes money, which was in all after the rate of 55. Crownes for every man for that voyage, after the rate of five shillings starling [sterling] to the crowne: This done, he returned to Venice…   Read more


 Roll out the barrel 

Ocean passage

London, April to September 1822 — In the chicken-coop, there is a favourite cockerel that is sacred, so to speak, and has survived all others; he is famous for having crowed during battle, as if in the farmyard amongst his hens. Below deck a cat lives: its fur streaked with green, with a mangy tail, hairy whiskers, firm on its feet, countering the pitch and roll with its balancing act; it has been round the world twice, and was saved from shipwreck riding on a barrel.   Read more


 Nine lives 


“On the second Friday the twenty-second of May, Joseph, the ginger tomcat, fell in the sea from the mizzen channels, and we hove to and went back for him…    Read more