Seafaring stowaway cat to get help on land

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A cat who stowed away on an Icelandic trawler has been fed by the ship’s crew and will be helped to regain her land legs by a shelter in the community where she came on board.

The crew of the Gnúpur GK-011, a freezer trawler operating out of the fishing village of Grindvavík on the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland, are helping a cat who stowed away on board, and who they discovered in the bow of the ship.

The crew has given kitty the lovely name of Særós, or Sea Rose.

Særós was skinny, she looked bad and she seemed to have been going without when the crew noticed her presence and set about getting her into better shape and making arrangements for her when the ship returned to the village.

It is thought that Særós came on board weeks before she got help and had made a trip out to sea with the crew that had taken the ship out on its previous voyage. That earlier crew reported seeing a cat darting around.

Sigurjón Veigar Þórðarson, a ship’s mechanic on board for the current voyage, posted photos to his Facebook (including the two seen here), showing Særós peering out from a little hiding spot and showing a trap Sigurjón built in order to capture the wary kitty and bring her safely to shore.

Sigurjón described the kitty as being skittish and shy and said she runs if someone tries to approach her.

He told the Morgunblaðið newspaper that kitty must not have had much time to sneak on board the trawler, because harbor stops are short – just long enough for unloading and a change of crew. There is generally a lot of activity going on the whole time.

“We hear of things like this, but this happens extremely rarely. There aren’t that many ways for a cat to enter the ship. … In fact, this is pretty much unique. None of us has encountered a stowaway like this before,” he said.

Kitty’s chosen cubbyhole spot afforded her both fresh air and warmth from a nearby space heater. Despite her shyness, she has endeared herself to the sailors.

The crew have reached out through social media in case someone is missing Særós but no one has stepped forward to claim her. Rather than take her ashore in a different community, they decided to bring her back to the village where she came on board.

Sigurjón told Morgunblaðið tht when a crew member suggested taking her ashore in a different town he nixed the idea, saying: “No. She comes from Grindavík, and that’s where she is going again.”

The local cat rescue, Villikettir, has agreed to take Særós and to socialize her so she can be made available for adoption and find a home.


Sigurjón Veigar Þórðarson, in a photo from Facebook, poses with the trap he made to safely bring the stowaway cat to shore.

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