Nellie the Ship’s Cat

Hello. I don’t know who you are but me, I’m called Nellie. That’s what they call me anyway. They used to call me Nelson but I went five times to see that funny lady wearing the white coat, now they all call me Nellie. I think I’m supposed to be the ship’s cat.

Well I don’t wanna be the ship’s cat. The ship’s too small and it stinks, it stinks all the time of them and sometimes I don’t even know what’s happening. The floor of this ship moves around too much and I slide around hitting things I’d really prefer to stay away from, like the table leg and other stupid things like that. Yesterday I tried to jump from the couch, then the ship moved the other way and I fell in a heap on the floor.

If you’re a cat and reading this then you seriously don’t want to be the ship’s cat. Let me tell you why you don’t want to be the ship’s cat…

First, if I start to use bad language then I’m sorry, I’m trying to cut that out since I came to live with them, but they stuck me in a terrible little cage and now I’m in Mexico. I didn’t even know what Mexico was until that horrible looking Mexican cat told me everything. I never even understood what he said until he figured out I wasn’t even Mexican. That dirty dustbin cat said the F-word all the time. I think he even said it in Mexican. He said a lot of horrible things in that stupid Mexican.

You see, I also swear too much sometimes coz I was brought up pretty rough myself… but not as rough as these Mexican cats so I’m trying hard to sort the way I tell you things. You’ve gotta help me a lot on that because I want to learn my manners. My mom swore a lot coz she’s always had a bad time… you see she was too thin and horribly scraggy, not eating enough so’s we kids would have more food, I loved her loads, I loved her ever so much but then she let me leave when I was way too little to leave.

My dad, I didn’t know my dad, I didn’t even know who my dad was until my older sister who was born a long time before me told me everything, he was one of those rough diamond cats, you know, one of those tough alley cats who was too handsome for his own good. He got all the girls including my mom. Did I ever tell you that everyone says I look just like my dad? My sisters both say he’s so good looking and proud and not afraid of anything, he plays funny tricks and runs rings around the horrible cat catcher, he tells wonderful stories about when he was a prison cat, how he escaped when all the prison men dug their way out with that little tea spoon. He’s ever so brave, all majestic like a vagabond prince and grey all over just like me, he has X-ray eyes and can see all the way through things, he always rescues other cats and can even fly across the moon when all the girls are out there looking and…

At first I lived near the seaside but then they came to take me away one horrible miserable dark black rainy night. There was thunder and lightning, the wind howled really bad rattling all the windows, there was screaming then someone crying and crying outside and all the other cats, all the other cats hid because they all knew what was gonna happen. Then they just did it. They just came in to that little house place where we all lived, she cooed a lot and he just got out his wallet. It took me a while to figure things out coz I was only little and thin but do you know what he said? He said I was a boy cat and just the right grey colour to match the colour of their ship! Are you shocked? Can you believe he said that? Both my sisters looked at me all contrite coz they knew straightaway they’d be getting more of my food. But me, now I’m lost and all alone and I don’t know what to dooooeeow… don’t you just see that? I was happy living near the sea with my straggly mom who’s had too many kids including my two especially ugly sisters, but they must have figured that living there beside the sea would make me a good ship’s cat. Now where’s the logic in that? So here I am, in Mexico when I could’ve been back there where it’s nice and rainy and cool. I could’ve even stayed in that nice house with them but now, instead, I’m here in this little ship that I’m always slipping and sliding around in. That’s why you cats don’t wanna be a ship’s cat.

Can I tell you some more about them? She’s nice, the lady, but I’m still not sure about him, he’s got funny eyes and no hair… you know the sort I mean. She strokes my back then under my chin which I really like then she gives me all my food. So I like her a lot and I think we’re gonna get along, I like her an awful lot except when she forgets to give me my food. And she likes it loads when I side up to her when I’m hungry. She’s easy peasy and we get along just fine but I’m not sure about him. He’s got that something we girl cats only sense when our other five senses are all tied up with other things.

I’m gonna be telling you all about things here in Mexico, have no doubt about that. Someone’s gotta know what’s happening, someone out there’s gotta be listening somewhere. Someone’s gotta help me get back to England somehow. It’s no proper place for a cat here in this ship, it’s noisy, I get wet all the time and sometimes they don’t even let me out because of that big wet thing all around the ship.

And the food? Did I tell you about the food? It burns my mouth, it’s got things in it, the colour’s not right, eight out of ten cats would never eat it, it makes me shit a lot and stinks just like that Mexican dustbin cat who tried to kiss me. I told him to let me be, I’m only seven months old for Christ sake…

I’m sure gonna be telling you about things here on this ship, everything about how I’m stuck here in Mexico. Someone somewhere’s gotta listen…

Nelly Nelson, Ensenada, Mexico.


Nelly Nelson, or Nellie, is the new ship’s cat. She’s not sure about things just yet but things are moving in the right direction. She’s currently deciding whether to launch her own Facebook and Instagram thing but we’ve advised her to be cautious, if she’s not going to stick it out then why get everyone excited? She tells us she wants everything to be right and everyone to know how much she’s suffering.

Don’t you be fooled now, she’s a bit of a drama queen and is out to get you wrapped around her little finger. Don’t you fall for it, it’s not her sailboat and she’s only fourth in rank. She’s onboard to catch rats, mice and cockroaches, working her passage just like the rest of us. When she gets to be the ship’s cook maybe then we’ll all listen… Marie

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