This week we celebrated World Cat Day and rediscovered this forgotten figure in the Territory’s seafaring history. This cat was the mascot of the HMAS Fremantle, photographed here in 1943. The ship was one of 60 Bathurst-class corvettes built during World War II. It was a regular sight escorting convoys between Darwin and Thursday Island until 1945, receiving a battle honour for its service. Ship's cats were not uncommon across all forms of shipping at this time, earning their keep providing rodent removal services and companionship. While we know little of this cat’s story, with its own custom-made hammock it must have been a favourite with the crew.
Picture: Library & Archives NT. Cat resting on a Fremantle life preserver, Cuffe, Sydney John, 1942, PictureNT, Syd Cuffe Collection, PH0831/0092