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The Ships’ Cats Who Lapped and Mapped the World

By Philippa Sandall

Illustrated by Ad Long

A cat’s-eye view of maritime history

We remember the bold seafarers of yore—from Magellan to Shackleton—for their extraordinary exploits: new lands discovered, storms weathered, and battles won. But somehow history has neglected the stalwart, hardworking species who made it all possible . . . yes, the noble cat!

In Seafurrers, able sea cat Bart sets the record straight at last. “Fear of water” aside, cats were indispensable at sea—both as pest controllers and as beloved mascots. Thirty–eight tales recount the adventures of Trim (who circumnavigated Australia), Tom (the sole feline survivor of the sinking of the USS Maine), celebrity cat Simon (a veteran of the Yangtze Incident), and other furry heroes.

Filled with nautical trivia, rare photographs, and whimsical illustrations, this deft genealogy of human–feline friendship will stir your regard for the incomparable cat—whether on the couch or in the crow’s nest!

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Philippa Sandall headshot

Philippa Sandall

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Review quotes
“It’s a purrfect read for lovers of cats, ships and history in general.”—Catster Magazine

“Reveals the little-known history of cats as beloved—and surprisingly essential—shipmates of the old high seas. A purrfectly heartwarming tail indeed!”—David F. Winkler, PhD, Naval Historical Foundation

“Funny, furry, and fascinating! With a lovely balance between parody and earnest maritime history, Sandall has chosen priceless historic photographs, infused deep and wide-ranging research, and spun a ball of spellbinding and hilarious sea yarns.”—Richard J. King, author of Lobster and The Devil's Cormorant and columnist for Sea History magazine

“At last! A history of cats of the sea. Long overdue, this book is as exquisite as a bowl of milk or a nice, plump ship’s mouse.”—Schooner the cat, as told to maritime archaeologist, author, and explorer James Delgado

“This delightful tome introduces us to the stories of seafurrring kitties. Bart’s pitch-purrfect yarns take the reader on a meowverlous journey, while Ad’s illustrations are the tasty cream on the kibble.”—Anna Holloway, PhD, maritime historian, author, and curator

“In Seafurrers, author Philippa Sandall and first mate Bart take us on a fascinatingly eclectic sea voyage through history, geography, literature, and pop culture, humorously illustrated by Ad Long. A great resource for maritime historians and cat lovers alike.”—André B. Sobocinski, historian, US Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery
Product Details
Number of pages
Publication date
April 03, 2018