Little shipmates: Seafaring pets

Portrait of a baby and a dog on a ship. Image: Samuel Hood / ANMM Collection 00023789.

Portrait of a baby and a dog on a ship. Image: Samuel Hood / ANMM Collection 00023789.

Cats, dogs, monkeys and birds have been cherished on board ships for as long as people have made sea voyages. In a life from which children and families are usually missing, and are often very much missed, pets provide a focus for emotions and affection – although cats and dogs may have been expected to earn their keep catching mice and rats, too.

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Black cats on Friday 13th

Who is superstitious about Friday the 13th? Personally I am not, well, I can’t be – I was born on the 13th and lived a good 13 years in house number 13 (which we do think was haunted by a friendly protective ghost!). I decided long ago that 13 is my lucky number.

I’m also a lover of cats. So for this ‘lucky Friday the 13th’ I’ve searched through the museum’s photographic collection for as many black cats I can find.

For all of those who like to push superstitious boundaries, read on… For those of you who refuse to walk under a ladder, it may be best to stay away from our blog… just for today!

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Two crew members with pet dog and cat (1920s). Photographer: Samuel J Hood Studio. ANMM Collection 00023639.

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