word cloud created via Tagul.com

word cloud created via Tagul.com

Happy Halloween, everyone! In our neck of the woods, the trees are getting really pretty, there’s a nip in the air, and I’m scouring Pinterest for decor ideas and recipes to enhance the Halloween fun here at Casa Owen. Our cat Tora is starting to snuggle on my lap for longer stretches of time as I work at the keyboard.

 

Speaking of cats, Halloween isn’t the only occasion to celebrate this week. Did you know that October 29th is National Cat Day? Of course, as Tora would point out, every day should be cat day. I know, right? Of course, some people may celebrate both occasions by dressing up their cats in Halloween costumes, though I would advise against it:

cat costume composite

But there’s more to our beloved felines than their tolerance (or lack thereof) for funny costumes. As history attests, they have gone beyond bringing us live crickets or licking our hair to wake us up in the morning. Cats actually lived aboard U.S. Naval ships in the nineteenth century, and served with sailors and soldiers during the first world war.

Photo courtesy of USNI.org

Caption: “Crewmen on the deck of the USS Olympia using a mirror to play with their cats in 1898. The Olympia served as Admiral George Dewey’s flagship at the Battle of Manila during the Spanish American War.” Photo courtesy of USNI.org

 

Photo courtesy of USNI.org

Caption: “Waiting instructions in the briefing room, pilots on a US Navy aircraft carrier relax by playing with the ship’s mascot. Shortly after this picture was taken they were flying far above the Atlantic on a battle-mission. Probably the USS Ranger, July 1944.” Photo courtesy of USNI.org

 

Here’s what Wiki has to say about cats “keeping the free world free” during WWI:

Throughout the “war to end all wars,” cats were a common sight in the trenches and aboard ships, where they hunted mice and rats. Beyond their “official” duties, they were also embraced as mascots and pets by the soldiers and sailors with whom they served.

Wow, who knew? Cats served in the Second World War, too. Maybe Cleo threw up in the Nazis’ boots. Serves them right.

Want to read more? Check out these sources:

These Are the Brave and Fluffy Cats Who Served in World War I

Cats in the Sea Services | U.S. Naval Institute

So if a cat (black or otherwise) crosses your path this Halloween, I’d say it was good luck!

What are your plans this Halloween? Do you have a cat? Do you dress him/her up in a costume? I’d love to hear from you.

~Kathy

…and in case you missed it:

Just Released: a new Concordia Wells Mystery!

Unseemly Ambition: book 4 of the Concordia Wells Mysteries

 

cover by Melinda VanLone

cover by Melinda VanLone

Murder aboard the Overland Limited…

It is the summer of 1898. Professor Concordia Wells is eager to accompany her friend, Pinkerton detective Penelope Hamilton, on a cross-country train trip to San Francisco. Breathless vistas and exciting locales will be a welcome change from a fiancé impatient to set a wedding date and the threat of revenge from the remaining Inner Circle members back in Hartford.

But Concordia should know there is no such thing as a free ride. When the Pinkerton Agency switches assignments at the last minute, she and Miss Hamilton have their work cut out for them. Fellow passengers prove to be both help and hindrance: a lady reporter in hiding, a con man…and a corpse or two. Then there is the handsome gentleman with the dark hair, green eyes, and a secret agenda of his own. Good thing Concordia is an engaged lady. Or is it?

 

 

Start reading at the click of a button:

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