Jenny cat and kitten
Mama cat

One of the many flashes of memory I’ve had involves a cat aboard Titanic.  Her name was Jenny.  Cats were welcomed aboard ships and were considered good luck charms in the past because they kept the rat and mouse population under control.  Rats would climb aboard ships by balancing in the tie lines that held a ship to the pier. This is for example how we became "blessed" by the presence of the Norway rat, a considerably sized rodent that immigrated via ships from Europe.

From Tommie's perspective I remember that Jenny was white with large black splotches on her. She may very well have looked differently but that's what I remember.  She was not big by cat standards but looked like she could hold her own with a large rodent.  Before Titanic's voyage, Jenny gave birth to a small litter of kittens.  She and her brood took up residence in the scullery because with all the hot water around her she must have felt that the warmth would be perfect for her babies.  After all, April was a bit cold in Southampton and men and women were wearing their heavy coats.

I remember Tommie going down to the scullery because there was a slight leak in a faucet in one of the large dish tubs.  There, by a water heater lay Jenny all curled up in a ball with kittens nursing.

Once Titanic got underway, Jenny and her kittens disappeared from the scullery.  A day or so later Tommie lay in bed and was awoken by the sound of cries.  He looked all over his state room and finally under his bed.  There was Jenny and her three kittens.  Tommie often left his door ajar so he was more concerned as to why she took the babies to "higher ground" than how they got into the room.   He called Henry Etches his steward to bring up a box of sand so there would not be little "surprises" all over the room.  From that point on Tommie paid little attention to the cats with the exception of getting some raw meat or fish from the galley for the little family.

The next time Tommie saw the cats was during Titanic's plunge into the sea. There was Jenny with a kitten in her mouth, climbing the guy wire of one of the funnels in hopes of saving her kittens.  Tommie knew the futility of her actions and the poignancy of it all only deepened the hole in his breaking heart.

I'm sorry that this story has such a sad ending, but I want to bring to mind that the animals close to us often share our suffering. Animals can demonstrate a mother's love and courage to save their families in the midst of impossible odds.  It is this that I ask my reader's to concentrate on.  We think often of the tragedy and loss of life when Titanic sank, but so often we do not think of the heroic and noble actions of those facing sure death.  Jenny stands out as a perfect example of this and that is why I dedicate this pet section to her.

Mr. Wookie the cat

Here’s a picture of my cat, Mr. Wookie.  I got him from Halo Animal Rescue in Phoenix, Arizona. The photo was taken in his kennel before I got him.

Wookie is a delightful, sweet, gentle soul whose only goal in life is to see how many massages he can squeeze daily out of the person he owns. I named him Wookie because when he meows, he makes a gurgling sound that reminds me of Chewbacca the Star Wars Wookie.  Mr. Wookie has a delightful way of doing a hop, skip and jump when I call him. I have a sign on my window that says: This place is maintained solely for the comfort and convenience of the CAT!

I tell you this because I learned that the very day HALO picked him up he was scheduled for euthanasia. What a waste that would have been! I love cats and just about any creature, and wish to pass along my passion for the little "beings."

Please support Animal rescue organizations. Their work is invaluable and save thousands of lives like Mr. Wookie.  If you have an animal story, email me at . If your story is particularly interesting, I’ll post it on this page.

William C. Barnes

horse Sere

This is Sere.  She was my favorite horse and my first horse.  I rescued her from a very abusive situation.  She was in her late thirties and died at age 39.  I’d like to think she hung around the three years I had her because of her good treatment.  One story of her sticks in my mind.

One day I came home from work.  The farrier had been there earlier.  When I got out of my truck, she came up to me and stood still. At first she did not respond to the petting and kept whinnying.  Then I realized she had new shoes so I went all around her and picked up each leg and patted her hoof while saying how pretty she looked.  That was what she wanted.  She stood there so proudly!  After I recognized her new shoes she nuzzled me and then trotted off to eat.  I sure miss her.

Breeze photo 1

Hours after his birth, Breeze was found stumbling around by a farmer.  The newborn foal was abandoned by his mother.  That's when the farmer took him to Devon-based Mare and Foal Sanctuary where they instantly started caring for him.  What happened next is both adorable and heartwarming. Staff put a 4-foot giant Teddy Bear in with Breeze. The bear's name is Buttons and Breeze quickly warmed up to him.

Breeze photo 2

Without his mother, Breeze has found an adorable replacement.

Breeze photo 3

The two have been inseparable and they expect Breeze to be just fine.

Breeze photo 4

Thanks to the rescuers and those who cared enough to take this little Cutie in. And thanks, of course, to Buttons.