Sunday, August 28, 2011

"Ship's Cat"

photo by René Seindal

I saw this photo pop up on René's facebook page and asked him to send it to me. I did more than just ask.
It was one of those "!" messages.

As a kayaking guide, René goes all over the Venetian lagon and sees a lot of places most folks wouldn't. 
He shot this picture of a black cat on a black sandolo on the island of Certosa.

René Seindal, who does a lot of his kayaking tours from Certosa, said this was taken 
"where they keep boats awaiting repair. They have two or three maestri d'ascia there, one or two of which are German."

To read more about Certosa, see this link.
I was fortunate enough to visit the island a few years ago and have lunch with some of the staff there.  Later I met with Sean Antonioli and Mathias Lühmann (who is probably one of those German maestri René was talking about) and got to see their work areas and some of the projects they'd been working on.
The place was amazing, and I was jealous of all the people who had the luck to work there.  I also got my hat handed to me a few times in foosball, but that's another story.

Looking at the boat, she sure seems like her floating days may be behind her (and I don't think it has anything to do with the luck of a black cat).

René wrote:
That boat has been sitting there for quite a while. First I thought she was put there for display, as it was placed on a kind of trestle just along the main pathway towards the offices and ship yards. Now it is moved more to the sides.
It does look a bit like a goner, but who knows if it is still salvageable.

In preparing for this post, I did a little reading about black cats, and how cats have tied in with boats.  It turns out that not all cultures associate black cats with bad luck - in fact some see them as quite lucky. 
Without question, black cats, and cats of all colors were viewed as very lucky to have around on ships; they ate rats and mice.
For some interesting reading, search "ship's cat" and read up on the subject.


staff said...

the GSVVM master Luigi Marcuzzi, with the help of Bepi Penzo are working to refurbish a sandolo in the same (bad) conditions. In the next few days I hope to take some shots of her. the construction of the new sandolo proceeds as skeduled (new photos soon). Nereo

Tamás said...

> Without question, black cats, and cats of all colors were viewed as very lucky to have around on ships; they ate rats and mice. <

In Asia, cats with blue eyes are considered a good luck charm, due to the association of aquamarine gemstones with the magic ability to calm the waves and tide.

As for eating rats, that's certainly not true for cats in today's Venice. The simple fact there are some many doves in Venice suggests the overwhelming majority of her (large) cat population enjoy Whiskas diet...

Chris said...

The greatest ship's cat must surely be 'Trim', who even merits his own Wikipedia page.