In April 1949, during the Chinese Civil War, the naval ship HMS Amethyst was sent to the Yangtze River to protect the British Embassy in Nanjing, which was under attack by enemies. Suddenly the frigate came under fire by detachments of the Chinese Communists, as a result of which 17 crew members were killed. The survivors were forced to stay aboard the damaged ship for three months so that they could seize a suitable moment and hide from the enemies under cover of night.
All this time there was a cat named Simon on the plane. He was wounded in the first bombing, but continued to fulfill his primary responsibility – protecting the food supply from mice. Exhausted sailors found an outlet in the most difficult times. Simon died three weeks after the ship returned to the UK. Subsequently, he was posthumously awarded the Maria Deakin Medal for Courage.
Cats are believed to have nine lives. If true, a cat named Unsinkable Sam was used several times at once during World War II. Of the 2,200 people on board, only 116 managed to escape, and after a few hours the destroyer “Kazack” sailed to the scene of the tragedy, and its sailors noticed a cat sitting on the wreck. He was taken on the plane and nicknamed Oscar.
In October, the “Cossacks” was torpedoed by a German submarine, after which it sank. Several sailors died, but Oscar miraculously escaped again. After that, they began to call him “unsinkable poison.” But the cat’s adventures did not end there. He was escorted by the crew of the aircraft carrier “Ark Royal”. Incredibly, the unsinkable Sam escaped again. Thus, in just six months, he was on the verge of dying three times. Therefore, the sailors decided that the unsinkable Sam had “seen enough of the sea” and that he deserved a quiet life on land. He lived for some time in the office of the Governor-General of Gibraltar, after which he was sent to Great Britain, where he met the end of the war in Belfast.
Mrs. Chibi was also a ship cat, but she sailed aboard the luxury ship Fortitude. Sir Ernest Shackleton went on the Imperial Expedition across the South Pole in 1914-1917. The tabby cat was the property of carpenter and shipbuilder Harry “Chippy” McNish and, according to eyewitnesses, was able to walk deftly along the ship’s beams, even in the most terrible storms. She got her nickname after other sailors noticed that she constantly walked on her tail after her master, like a wife. “Here’s Mrs. Chibby!” they laughed. It was a whole month of sailing before Harry McNeish finally realized that Mrs. Chippy was actually a cat.
Unfortunately, Fortitude was stuck in the ice, and Shackleton decided that the animals could not survive in the harsh conditions of Antarctica. On October 29, 1915, Mrs. Shebby (with three small dogs also on board) was shot. Harry was very attached to his cat and was unable to forgive Shackleton for her death. Mrs. Chippy’s owner died in 1930.