Were the Wireless Officers allowed to have pets with them on board ship?


Dan Kappes

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In the 1943 Nazi German Titanic film, Jack Phillips has a pet canary which he frees during the sinking.

I don't think the real Jack Phillips had a pet canary on board the Titanic, but were wireless officers allowed to have pets on board ship with them in those days?
 
Nov 14, 2005
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I've never read anything about the crew of Titanic having a pet onboard. But a lot of ships had cats onboard. Even some of the US Navy ships had ships mascots (cats or small dogs) but I believe after WW2 the Navy "officially" stopped pets onboard. My dad told me that on one of the liberty ships he served on had a small dog aboard. And when in port he would go with the crew to the pub and get his bowl of beer.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Once upon a time, small dogs as well as cats were kept aboard ship for the express purpose of dealing with rat infestations which were a constant problem. These days you don't see that so much because of quarantine laws.
 
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Nov 14, 2005
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Yes you are right about that. Cat have been used since ancient times for rat problems onboard ships. Too bad the sailors during the 1300's didn't use more of them. They might have stopped the Black Death.
 
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Mar 18, 2008
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Yes and the story goes that Jenny
presented the ship with a litter of kittens at Southampton. According to stoker Mulholland Jenny and her four kittens left the ship there.
 
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I do recall reading about that. Will have to go and look it up. I also recall that a pet aboard The Empress of Ireland jumped ship right before the disaster. Forget if it was a dog or a cat.
 

Dave Gittins

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Stoker Joe Mulholland was part of the crew between Belfast and Southampton. He was rather short of cash. He was wondering whether to join Titanic for her voyage to New York or to join a tramp steamer and get work for several months. When he saw the cat remove herself and her kittens, he decided they knew something was wrong, so he left, joined a tramp and lived for many years after.
 
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