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SIMON - Ships Cat

In 1948 HMS Amethyst pulled into port on Stonecutters Island, Hong Kong for supplies. A neglected black and white cat was discovered by able seaman George Hickinbotom on the docks, and he smuggled him on board the ship. Luckily the Captain was a cat lover and Simon, as he was named, would accompany the Captain on his rounds. Soon Simon was promoted from passenger to crewman when he became a skilled rat catcher. Rats were a big problem on board with the food supplies and Simons rat catches boosted the crews morale. In April 1949 the ship sailed up the Yangtse river and came under heavy attack. Simon was badly injured with shrapnel and many thought he would not survive. But within days he was back on rat duty and was catching at least one rat a day despite his injuries. Simon's rank was then boosted to Able Seacat when the doctor thought he could help the morale of patients. So he divided his time between rat catching and spending time with the injured crewmen. Word about Simon soon spread and it was decided he should receive the PDSA Dickens Medal. HMS Amethyst set sail for England and Simon had to go through six months quarantine. The medal ceremony was set for 11th December 1949 but sadly Simon died from a viral infection in quarantine on 28th November 1949. He is buried at the PDSA cemetery in Ilford England.

Breed:Black and White cat

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