It probably seems fundamental that a cat could be, and was, a valued member of the crew, particularly for ridding a ship of mice and rats. Cats being cats, there were probably ship's cats that were aloof and half-feral, and then there were other ship's cats that were social lap-cats. The cat in WIND RAVEN is somewhere in between. Named “Dutch Sam’ for the English boxer Samuel Elias, who died the year before my story begins, and who was known as having the deadliest fists of any boxer in London, my ship’s cat has two huge white paws (with extra toes, don’t you know!). The crew of the Wind Raven thought it a fitting tribute to name their unusual after the boxer they revered.
Did you know that sailors believed that cats had an influence on the weather? See MORE.