Since ancient times, cats have been common travelers on ships. The clever little animals are independent, able to feed themselves on the ship’s vermin, and are thought to bring good luck.
Ships’ cats were helpful in controlling the rats and mice that often got into the food stores and brought disease to the sailors. And cats are good companions. On long journeys, cats bring comfort to lonely sailors and serve as a sort of mascot that unites the crew.
Russian ships, even in modern times, usually have cats on board. It’s an old tradition, but one that helps Russian sailors feel at home on the seas.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense tweeted out a photo yesterday of a little orange tabby cat sitting in the window of a Russian ship. The caption reads:
The first cat to participate in the long journey of Russian warships to the coast of Syria.”
Первый кот, участвовавший в дальнем походе боевых кораблей ВМФ России к берегам Сирии pic.twitter.com/36VLTKJ9rK
— Минобороны России (@mod_russia) May 1, 2017
The little feline is not given a name in this Tweet, but he certainly looks serene as he sits for the photo.
Some of the responses to the tweet demanded that the cat be given a name. They wrote, “He must have a name. Take it to the ship’s crew!” And “Call him the Sea Wolf.”
At a time when the United States in increasingly suspicious of Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, it’s sweet to see that people all over the world appreciate the presence of a good pet. Even if he is on board a vessel that is fighting in opposition to ours in the waters off of Syria.
Good luck to you, Sea Wolf!