Titanic: Did psychic cat foretell disaster?


Encyclopedia Titanica

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Ship's cats were common on board great liners in the period, partly to keep down any vermin. The Titanic apparently had her own feline mascot, a ships cat that stewardess Violet Jessop said was called Jenny. While the ship was being loaded at Southampton, Jenny presented her keepers with a litter of kittens. Versions of the fate of this new family vary. According to one, they died when the Titanic went down. According to another report, when the ship docked at Southampton, Jenny calmly transported her kittens off the doomed ship, one by one, and left for a new life. | belfasttelegraph.co.uk

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deegarretson

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I'm trying to find the original source of the Jessop quote about Jenny and how she followed a scullion named Jim around. I looked at the crew list and the only name that resembles Jim among the scullions was someone named H. James Duffin. Just wondering if that was him.
 

Bob Godfrey

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The source of Jessop quotes is generally her own book (Titanic Survivor). Unfortunately she almost always used false names for the shipboard colleagues and passengers she described as individuals. Maybe she changed the cat's name too!
 

deegarretson

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Thank you, Bob. I am sure the name changes have frustrated many researchers. And I hope the cat did get off at Southampton. I like that version the best.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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The actual provanace of the story is, to my knowladge, unknown. I doubt that Miss Jessop made it up whole cloth but it's not impossible. Seems to me that there's nothing remarkable about it as cats just do their thing for their own reasons and don't much care what we mere humans read into it.

That said, I have to say that the big problem with psychic phenomon is that the stories just don't hold up well under close inspection. We notice the "Hits" where some ex post facto reasoning comes into play while ignoring similar events...like a cat deciding to seek a new home for herself and her kittens...where absolutely nothing happened at all.
 
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As someone who has had the good fortune to be adopted by a cat, I can safely say that cats' reasons for doing things are beyond our ken, but that their judgment is usually excellent.
 

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