Y’arr! There’s a pretty fun kitty holiday around the corner: September 19th is Meow Like A Pirate Day! Pirates are a pretty big part of Florida’s history and cultural landscape. Just look at Tampa: they not only named their NFL team after them, but they go all-out with Gasparilla celebrations, which go on for weeks. Here, a Fort Myers, FL vet delves into the links between pirates and cats.
In case you were wondering, Meow Like A Pirate is basically Fluffy’s takeover of Talk Like A Pirate Day. Talk Like A Pirate Day didn’t actually start as an attempt to honor pirates: it started almost accidentally, with a few friends playing racquetball. One of them fell down and injured himself, yelling out an inadvertently pirate-sounding ‘Yarr!’. Somehow that morphed into pirate talk and, well, the rest is history.
There’s actually a pretty long history between kitties and seafarers. In fact, Fluffy is thought to have hitched a ride to Europe with Phoenicians, back around 900 BC. Vikings and Egyptians were also known to have sailed with kitties. It’s not hard to see why. Not only are cats adorable and easy to keep, they’re also great at catching vermin. Those mouse-catching skills would have been very important on a ship with limited food stores.
A few sailing felines have scratched and pounced their way into the history books. There’s Simon, the resident furball for the HMS Amethyst. Simon survived being wounded in battle, and bounced back to his position of official rat-hunter. The kitty boosted morale so much he became a beloved crew member, earning himself a posthumous medal. Then there’s Unsinkable Sam, who survived the sinking of not one but three ships in World War II. Finally, there’s Blackie, the ship cat for HMS Prince of Wales, who was present at the signing of the Atlantic Charter.
Celebrating With Fluffy
What to do to honor this special occasion with your feline pal? Well, one cute option is to take a few pirate-themed photos of your cat and share them on social media. Fluffy may also appreciate a seafood feast. Cooked, plain, boneless salmon, mackerel, cod, flounder, and whitefish are safe for our furry pals. For the night’s entertainment, why not settle down with a few fun pirate movies? Or, spend some time browsing the Pirate Cats subreddit.
Do you have questions about cat care? Contact us, your Fort Myers, FL pet hospital, anytime!