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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
being a model ship builder(us navy 1864-1915 mainly) I look through many old photos in research for my projects.. In many ships crew photos, were the entire crew is in their best uniform (photos were not an everyday occurance back then) you can find a crewmember or two holding the ship's cats, navy life back then was hard but you can see that it was an honor to hold the cat for the photo.. some times the ships cat was given center stage when the photographer came aboard.. (my current project at 6ft long 1/48th scale will have a cat somewhere with the crew) incuded is a 1898 photo of vixen mascot of the USS VIXEN
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
pest control to start with... those cats most likely received lots of attention when they emerged from below with a rodent dangling from their mouths..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
a few more pis, on the one you can see that the cat is in better view than most of the crew, held by a petty officer
 

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I think the first picture is pretty funny. You can see who is the important one in the photo!
 

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Wow, that's really awesome. It's nice to see the way they look at the cats like it's an honor and they really care for them.

It's so nice to see cats respected, so many times I see people kick at them when they're near a store. I remember this one guy who tried to step on kittens near the front of a grocery store. I saved the kittens, and he almost wound up with broken knee caps thanks to Mr. Police Baton.
 

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I liked this one. Mrs. Hap, 2 weeks old, adopted by Marine Sergeant Frank Praytor. He is feeding her canned milk with a dropper.

Korea, ca 1953
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
sailors were and can be superstitious, kind of amazing but to them hurting a cat was very bad luck..I'm sure ship vs ship bragging rights were involved..the offspring of certified mousers would have been prime trading stock or valued gifts.the sailors understood being able to go to sleep knowing the cat was on evening watch removing any unwanted tresspassers before they became unwanted bunkmates..
 

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This is awesome! It is wonderful to see the 'soft' side of military men. Growing up in a city right next to an army fort / air force base, I've unfortunately become somewhat cynical when it comes to the military... but pictures like these help tear down the rigid stony exterior I've (at times, unfairly) come to associate with our servicemen.
 

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Loved all of the pictures, but the one of the marine is so poignant. I remember reading (or, at least I don't think I made this up in my mind) that Maine **** Cats come from Norwegian Forest Cats who came over with the Vikings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
spot the kitties...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
the bearded sailor front row center has it on his knee, its a civil war era pic, the cat is a little blurry.I have enlarged a better copy and its a cat..they just can't hold still for the long exposures..
 

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My uncle served in the Navy during the Viet Nam war as a dental assistant. I wonder if the ship he served on had a cat. I'll have to ask him.
 
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