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Titanic Pets

Discussion in 'Animals on the Titanic' started by Chester Wallace, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. I'm looking for sources about the pets that were aboard Titanic. Does anybody know of any books that go into detail about this subject or possibly newspaper accounts? I've also read that the ship had its own kennels to board pets. Did the White Star Line have a policy on keeping pets in staterooms?
  2. Adam Went

    Adam Went Member

    Hey Chester,

    There's a heap of threads and posts on the subject of Titanic's animals in this section:

    As for pets in staterooms, I don't know of any exact policy off the top of my head, but I wouldn't have thought the WSL would be very keen on that. Not just because of health and hygiene, but also because, especially in first class, I don't think Mrs. Astor would have appreciated it too much if she'd been wandering down a hall and a huge pet belonging to another family bounded out of a doorway and knocked her flying.

    The closest to a pet in a stateroom would probably be Edith Russell's "Maxixe". ;-)

    [Moderator's note: This thread has been moved to one of the subtopics in the "Animals on Board" topic that Adam provided the link to. It initially appeared elsewhere. MAB]
  3. Hi Adam, Thanks for the response. I'll take a look at the Titanic animals section. I was looking through the posts but couldn't find anything. There are so many! Your incite into the WSL policy on pets in staterooms seems correct.
  4. Jim Kalafus

    Jim Kalafus Member

    Lap dogs were apparently allowed in cabins. The Bishops left theirs (Frou-Frou) behind to die, but the Harpers rescued theirs and, I think, a second Pomeranian was carried off as well.

    My conspiracy theory, regarding Frou-Frou escaping incognito a la Rose Bukater, laying low until largely forgotten, and then darting in front of Helen Bishop's car, causing her to swerve into that tree at high speed, has yet to inspire a TV documentary, but I'm still hoping.

    Lap dogs had a better survival rate than children did.

    All manner of questions arise. The idea of being stuck in an 8 by 10 box for seven days with a Pomeranian is horrific. Would the dog be crated? Free to run around the cabin, throwing off pet dander and...uhhhh...other carpet ruining things? Where was it walked and fed, and by whom? When it began yapping at 3AM, as small dogs do when placed in unfamiliar settings, did the occupants of the cabins on either side blaspheme while pounding on the common wall?

    >I don't think Mrs. Astor would have appreciated it too much

    Her dog was named "Kitty." And, presumably, her cat was named "Doggie." Kitty, alas, WAS most likely kennelled, and did not survive... sparing the poor thing a lifetime of watching Madaleine's frustrated tantrums each time she tried to summon the cat with "Here, Kitty; here, Kitty" only to have the dog respond.
  5. Adam Went

    Adam Went Member

    Hey guys,

    It's actually an interesting point because, while I can't speak for everybody else, i'd say the adventures of the animals on board the Titanic during the sinking are among the sorts of things that you don't ever really give much thought to. Would have been terrible for any animals that remained locked up.

    Jim, I wonder if she ever bought a bird and called it "Sylvester" ? :-D
  6. Jim Kalafus

    Jim Kalafus Member

    I believe she named the bird "Fishy."

    A foreshadowing of the brilliant adult mind which allowed her to believe that her children's boxing coach... 4 years older than her oldest child...loved her for her charm. But, then, I'm also sure that she believed that she loved him for his personality.
  7. Brian Ahern

    Brian Ahern Member

    Chester - Henry Harper, Margaret Hays, and Elizabeth Rothschild saved their dogs, so presumably the animals were kept in their staterooms. Helen Bishop, of course, also kept her dog with her during the voyage. I believe young William Carter might have done so as well. He reportedly had to leave his Airedale behind on the promenade deck when he boarded boat 4 (I've always assumed that Madeleine Astor mistook this dog for Kitty, whom she thought she saw running along on the deck as the boat rowed away). William Carter Senior filed a damages claim for two dogs, but I'm guessing the other one wasn't his son's own particular pet.

    Edith Russell reportedly encountered a puppy in a stateroom she was passing during the sinking, but I can't remember if she knew who the owner was. Ann Isham supposedly had a dog aboard (see her ET bio). Robert Daniel had a French bulldog and Harry Anderson had a chow. I'm not sure where these dogs were kept during the voyage.

    Also, Marie Young was transporting live chickens, which she visited in the hold at least once. I THINK her ET bio has a bit about this.
  8. Adam Went

    Adam Went Member

    So where the the animal kennels on the ship then? And was there a crew member specifically designated to looking after the pets - feeding them, etc?
    Again, this has been a bit of a taboo subject, but it's actually quite interesting.
  9. Bob Godfrey

    Bob Godfrey Member

  10. >>So where the the animal kennels on the ship then?<<

    Supposedly the kennels were down on the deck near the galley. This would make it easier to feed any of the critters but there are some obvious health and sanitation issues which have to be dealt with which might have led to the kennels being relocated elsewhere. The possibility of the deck chair storage has been mooted.

    The problem here is that any such change would have been a result of sailors inginuity and not any formal design change. As a consequence of that, there is nothing in any extant documentation to back this up.
  11. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    Hmm. This is very difficult, philosophically. Take my cat, Larry, for instance. He's not overwhelmingly lovable. He has asthma, and when it gets bad he sprays because of understandable anxiety, and he wheezes at me every evening, and costs a fortune at the vet. I don't like this, but he can't help it, and he's a dear old guy who trusts me.

    And take my other one, Boris. She (sorry - I didn't name her) is young, beautiful, feisty and lethal. She kills everything within her considerable orbit, and drags their corpses in through the catflap. Squirrels, mice, rats, birds etc. She likes me. In fact, I'm the only human she does love. Everyone else gets spat at or scratched. But I rescued her from horrible abusive humans. Which one do I save? Or are they both expendable? They're only animals ....
  12. Jim Kalafus

    Jim Kalafus Member

    Monica: You are being fed. You are an honorary member of the cat's brood. That is the heighest praise they can offer. About 20 years ago, my tuxedo cat proudly entered my birthday festivities with bird in mouth, a situation that took a fair amount of explaining to those who arent pet people.

    >Or are they both expendable? They're only animals ....

    Interesting philosophical tangent. I know that I could not have left my dogs behind and, even before I was a dog person, Helen Bishop abandoning her dog in a place from which it could not possibly have escaped turned me against her. Hence my long post from a few years back about Frou Frou surviving to wreak sweet sweet vengeance on Helen.

    But, then, the lap dogs had a better chance of surviving than the children did. Just another creepy aspect of this most unromantic of disasters.
  13. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    I think I have to say - and you might disagree - that children came first, pets second .... and grown-ups come third. One does wonder if this could possibly be realistic? But, of course, there does come a time when you are deemed to be in charge, and therefore accountable for the world. Rather tough stuff, and probably when you're in your mid-40s, and wondering if you're young or old. And, maybe, wondering how animals figure in it all. Or maybe not.

    Pets, however, never achieve this, so only people can help them. I like to think I'd put human problems before pet ones, but I'm not actually too sure. I like animals. People don't seem too good. I don't know what the answer is.
  14. >>They're only animals ....<<

    If you really want to get technical about it, so are we. Not the nicest on the face of the planet either. That much said, I don't think I could leave my cats behind. It would be too much like a betrayal of trust to me.
  15. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    Yes, that's it really, isn't it, Michael. The trust. You can explain to adults, but you can't to children and pets. Having said that, if you've still got as many cats as the last time I heard about them, I think you've got your work cut out...
  16. Adam Went

    Adam Went Member

    Thanks for the info about the kennels guys, even if, reading back through my last post, my wording of the question was absolutely atrocious.

    Animals might be "only animals" but they have thoughts and feelings like the rest of us do. If you really care about them, they become part of your family, and nobody who isn't a cold-blooded monster is going to willingly leave a sinking ship while knowing their family members are still stuck inside there.

    I could never forgive myself if I left my faithful old Labrador behind....
  17. Jim Kalafus

    Jim Kalafus Member

    Nor could I.

    Then, there is the question of how long the dogs survived IF they were not trapped in the kennels.

    When the Princess Sophia sank, in colder and storm tossed water, all 356 passengers and crew were lost, but a dog carried on board lived.

    However, the story is unclear as to where the dog was discovered. It might have swam ashore and been found there, or it might have been pulled out of the water. My gut feeling is for the former.
  18. >>if you've still got as many cats as the last time I heard about them<<

    Eight at present. We lost a couple last year, but adopted a semi-ferel last Christmas who was a little too friendly with humans for her own good.

    The reason I say "semi-ferel" is because if she had been completely wild, not only would nobody have got anywhere near her, they would never have even seen her unless she wanted to be seen.
  19. Monica Hall

    Monica Hall Member

    Well, cats know do know what's good. It's not good to be living in the wild, or semi-wild. Much better to find you and me, Mike, in our houses. And Jim. And Bob. So they're quite good manipulators of human emotions.

    Boris certainly is. She strolls into my bedroom, every morning, chatting away, and getting me up to feed her. Hmmm.

    But, manipulated though I am, I don't think I could ever abandon them to such an event as the sinking of the Titanic.

    But - maybe, of course - because it was so futile. If there had been more hope, I have to say that I might have been more good to our four-legged friends. One simply cannot know. To my despair, I realise I'd sacrifice Larry for Boris. But neither one of them could have taken pole position over my sons. Lucky they don't know that, and that my sons are of an age to take responsibility themselves.

    This is not something that any of us can understand. We're not dying, so cannot formulate a priority of humans over animals, or vice versa. All we can say is that, for some people, the loss of their pets was unbearable. And, for some, it was an obvious choice.

    Being fairly stupid, and not young, I'd have gone for the saving children and pets option. But if I'd been young, I think I might have chosen me over and above anyone else - human or otherwise. How else can we survive?
  20. Crystal Von

    Crystal Von Guest

    Dogs in staterooms! Dogs in kennels below!Dogs in confined spaces!
    There must had been complaints from passengers of dogs barking during the night/dogs bad behavior towards each other (fighting)

    I too,could not leave any of my pets behind on a doomed ship,that is just plain nasty!

    Where ever the dog kennels were,the room must had heating/cool air vents (storage room is out of the equation) live stock must have been taken care of.
    The insurance contract of WSL signed by both WSL & passengers would have consist of lost goods or damage goods,including dogs,ect...WSL,did pride themselves on better ship voyage,in all areas,cut bove the rest,3rd class,children and animals.