When men go down to the sea in ships,
As they do to this very day,
They carry along a good ship's cat,
To keep the rats at bay.
One such cat at the Belfast yard,
Had kittens while on board.
The date was April 1912,
anno domini, year of our lord.
Now the ship was new, and the crew was,too,
So a trial run was deemed fair.
And the scullion lad, whose name was Jim,
Wound up with the tabby's care.
In the F deck galley Jim scoured and scrubbed,
His job was to bow and bend,
But he saved the scraps from every meal
For the cat he now called a friend.
They circled the coast 'till their anchor dropped
At the port of the White Star Line,
Where the ship was loaded with lobster and steak,
And silver and crystal and wine.
The cat seemed troubled when the trials were done,
Thought she loved her life on the ship.
With kittens in tow, she disembarked,
Refusing to make this trip.
She carried her babies, one by one,
Down the gangplank to the quay,
Two thousand passengers clambered aboard,
But the cat went the other way.
Jim followed his friend and he left that ship,
About to sail the Atlantic.
He bid farewell to the maiden voyage
Of RMS Titanic.
When Jim tells the tale of that wise old cat,
He gets naught but a sneer and a scoff.
Over one thousand drowned when that ship went down.
But Jim and the cat got off.
Down with the ship that fateful night,
Went fathers and sons and wives,
But the cat saved Jim by lending him,
One of her own nine lives.