Sailors and cats have shared a special bond for thousands of years. Cats provided not only companionship that sailors needed on their long and sometimes dreadful voyages, they also protected the ship from vermin such as rats and mice from chewing and damaging the ship and spreading diseases.

This photo was taken in Korea in 1953. The little kitten named Miss Hap was only two weeks old. She became an orphan because of war and was rescued by Marine Sergeant Frank Praytor. He adopted the kitten after the mother cat died from the war. According to the marine, the name was derived “because she was born at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

sailor feeding kitten cat pic

This photo was taken in Tarawa in November, 1943. The little kitten “crept out from beneath a wrecked” tank. The U.S. Marine soldier, name unknown, offered water to the little one.

marine solider feeding kitten

Cats were often mascots for the U.S. marine soldiers during the time of war. Soldiers often spent time with their beloved furry friends right before heading off to battles:

marine solider and cat
navy pilots soldiers and cat

Stories and photos via U.S. Naval Institute