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


 Life’s ups & downs 

Going aloft

“The replacing a top-mast carried away, or taking a reef in the sails were what most attracted his [Trim’s] attention at sea; and at all times when there was more bustle on deck than usual, he never failed to be present and in the midst of it; for as I have before hinted, he was endowed with an unusual degree of confidence and courage, and having never received anything good from men, he believed all to be his friends, and he was the friend of all.   Read more


 Daily bread 

Cat ate hardtack

A GULF COAST PORT, July 3, 1942 — A 17-year-old Massachusetts seaman came back from his first torpedoing with the story of the ship’s cat, which he saved. “We were in the lifeboat seven and a half days with not much to eat besides hardtack,” he said.   Read more


 Get me out of here! 

Surfmen pull ship’s cat and crew to safety

CHRISTMAS 1912 — During a blustery snowstorm in the early hours of Christmas morning, the 125-ton schooner Copy, making its way from Greenport, Long Island, to New York City, ran aground at the eastern entrance to Huntington Bay.   Read more


 Cannon cat cold case reopens 

The loss of the Monitor by a survivor

“Bailing was now resumed. I occupied the turret all alone, and passed buckets from the lower hatchway to the man on the top of the turret. I took off my coat – one that I had received from home only a few days before (I could not feel that our noble little ship was yet lost) – and rolling it up with my boots, drew the tampion from one of the guns, placed them inside, and replaced the tampion.   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


 Nelson’s floating menagerie 

The consolation of pets

“Considering the livestock that was carried to provide fresh food during a voyage, some of which roamed freely through the ship, to which were added sailors’ pets of all descriptions, warships must at times have resembled floating menageries …   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


 You’ve got mail 

Her Majesty’s mails and dispatches

LONDON TIMES November 1838 — Steam vessels required for conveying Her Majesty’s Mails and Dispatches between England and Halifax, N.S., and also between England, Halifax and New York.   Read more