In 1956, Two Kittens Crossed the Atlantic on a Raft | Smart News | Smithsonian
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In 1956, Two Kittens Crossed the Atlantic on a Raft

On a wooden raft two kittens (and three sailors) traveled from Canada to Cornwall.

smithsonian.com

On a wooden raft—logs tied together with rope—two kittens (and three sailors) traveled for 88 days across the North Atlantic from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada to Falmouth harbour in Cornwall.

According to the Globe and Mail, the five voyagers were the first to make the treacherous Atlantic crossing by raft.

The bedraggled boat made of nine telephone poles became an instant tourist attraction. Pubs in London served up chocolate models of it and dinner invitations flooded the crew as they were given full celebrity treatment.

As for the feline seafarers, they “were given to the Duke of Bedford, a cousin of the Queen, who had invited the crew to his palace, and lived out their days in luxury.”

The crew’s daring feats, on the other hand, were essentially ignored by those in their homeland. The Globe and Mail, which explores the tail of the unusual voyage,

Their celebrity status was short-lived, especially in Canada, where only a few small newspaper articles were written about the voyage. Maurice Duplessis, Quebec premier at the time, persuaded the captain to bring the raft home, promising it would be placed in a museum. The crew obliged, at their own expense. The pledge was unfulfilled and the raft was left to rot.

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About Colin Schultz
Colin Schultz

Colin Schultz is a freelance science writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. He blogs for Smart News and contributes to the American Geophysical Union. He has a B.Sc. in physical science and philosophy, and a M.A. in journalism.

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