Felix the Kitten

Before leaving Brixham, some person decided that we should have a dog, and, as a matter of fact, a very small black spaniel was brought on board, but all of us raised such a row it was immediately removed to a more suitable home. That didn’t stop one of our crew from adopting a small kitten. It was so small that its eyes were hardly opened, and we thought it would not survive a week. Felix, as it was called, had it very “rough” for a couple of weeks. We thought it would surely die — its fur was matted, and I am sure that a good dose of castor oil would have been just the thing. At a crucial period of Felix’s existence, Jumbo, picking it up, said “My, what a mess you are,” and, as he was bathing at the time, decided to give the cat a bath as well. As we watched, he plunked poor Felix into a tub of suds, and proceeded to thoroughly scrub him. Now whether the violent action of the cleaning up had the desired effect or not, I don’t know, but Felix let out a squawk, and made for a convenient corner; that was the “turning point” — the cat, as we put it, “never looked back.” He grew big and healthy, and, as far as he knew, was the only cat in the world, and when the flying fish landed on our decks, he got quite a shock, as I am sure that he thought his “position” on board was being challenged. What will happen to Felix in New York is anyone’s guess, but I feel quite sure that his ego will be shattered when he sees all the other members of his species, and is rudely awakened to the fact that he is not the only cat in the world.

Charles Church (Journal, p. 7-8)

Jan Junker made a tiny life jacket for Felix the kitten. After all, Felix was a member of the crew like the rest of us. Regrettably when we put his jacket on him, he became semi-mutinous. After that, he went into hiding when there was a lifeboat drill!

Jack Scarr (Journal, 22 April 1957)

Little Felix is growing quickly. He eats canned fish mostly and turned up his nose at a flying fish -- that came aboard – but he’ll soon learn…he romps on the deck all day now. He sleeps in the Great Cabin and will not even look at the foul smelling T.D. his first home. He now has a fine set of sea legs having completely recovered from his greenstick [fracture].

David Cauvin (Journal, 9 May 1957) 

Felix has now found his sea legs, which is not bad for seven weeks old. I am quite fascinated watching him adjust his little body to the sway of the ship. His greenstick [fracture] is cured now. We nearly lost him this afternoon when a wave caught him, but Dick grabbed him as he was on his way over.

Warwick Charlton, The Second Mayflower Adventure

I have two patients today. The first is poor little Felix, the cat. Someone, in the rough weather and darkness, trod on him. [The diagnosis is] a fractured left femur. I advise Graham Nunn, our Cabin Boy, whose especial pet Felix is, to nurse him in a box until the leg heals.

Doctor Stevens (Journal, p. 28)

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