I was reading recently about ship cats, and this seemed like the place to mention them. It's really rather fascinating.
From ancient times, ships would carry a cat to hunt vermin and to provide good luck. Up until 1975 or so, it had been an important tradition of the Royal Navy to take on ship cats and many of these have become legendary due to their role as mascots and morale-boosters during wartime.
One, known as Sam, was originally the ship cat of the Bismarck, and was rescued by a British ship when it was torpedoed. Then that ship was torpedoed, and Sam was once again rescued. And then that ship was torpedoed. Yet again, Sam was saved from amidst the wreckage. In the end he lived a long life, spending his final years at a retirment home for veteran seamen.
Another famous ship cat was Simon, who lived on the HMS Amethyst during the Yangtzee incident of 1949. He was injured during the shelling, but recovered and was promoted to "Able Seacat" for his bravery. Later in life he died of illness and was posthumously awarded the Dickin Medal. He was buried with full military honours, his funeral was attended by the entire crew of the Amethyst and hundreds of admiring fans. His gravestone states that "Throughout the Yangtze Incident his behaviour was of the highest order."
Fortunately the seminar started and when it finished, I runed away like if Usain Bolt were about to rape me.