“FANCY THAT!” - from the archives - By CAROL HAGUE
Travelling Cats - ‘Wopsie the Airship Cat’
CATS being independent creatures sometimes find themselves in some very odd places. One of the oddest must have been ‘Wopsie the Airship Cat’.
Now and again one learns of a cat having the misfortune to get lost in the baggage hold of an aircraft and forced to travel thousands of miles beyond its scheduled destination before discovery and happily flown back to the airport where it should have landed in the first place.
Setting out from East Fortune on the Firth of Forth on 2 July 1919, the R.34 Airship carried a crew of 30, two pidgeons and two stowaways. AC William Ballantyne, who did not want to miss out on this epic flight, and a cat.
The Airship was well on its way over the Atlantic before the pair were discovered.
The Captain ordered William to join the crew, and the cat, called ‘Wopsie’, he handed over to the care of LAC George Graham, who had smuggled the cat on board.
There were tremendous celebrations a few days later when the R34 arrived at Mineola, New York. The crew was ‘feted’ and so was Wopsie. There was some danger of Wopsie becoming an American cat, as so many people admired and wanted to keep her. In fact, one actress offered George Graham (owner of Wopsie) a considerable sum of dollars for her, as much as a years pay, but he refused to part with his now famous little cat. So the actress presented Wopsie with a gold collar as the crew and cat returned home.
At touch down the airship had covered a total distance of 7,000 miles. It returned to its home base by flying first to London, circling the Houses of Parliament and crowded streets of Westminster.
What Wopsie may have thought of this has not been recorded, but this little stray picked from the streets of Renfrew, near Glasgow, became a regular, if unofficial member of the crew of the R.34. Certainly she had gone where no cat had gone before. An adventure she may have related to her kittens in the years to come!
From CATS, August 1989
Archives for Anoraks (or for those amongst us who have a serious interest) - Ch Mischief of Bredon
MISCHIEF of Bredon’s name and frequent change of ownership seems to have muddled more than one of our American readers, and I have been asked to say “who exactly is Ch Mischief of Bredon?”
Mischief of Bredon was bred by Nurse Nicholls of Powick, near Worcester. His sire was Cupid of Callow, a son of Eros of Allington and Northway Singing Hinny and litter brother to the beautiful Ch Northway Shelmerdine, which, with her half brother, Ch Dion of Allington, immediately obtained her Championship in 1927/1928.
Nurse Nicholls obtained “Cupid” from Miss Fair at Madresfield Show in 1926. Mischief’s dam is Dawn of Hope, a beautiful daughter of Flick-Maroo ex Nanette and bred by Miss Francis. At Madresfield Show in 1928, Mischief, then unregistered, was shown by Nurse Nicholls in a small class of rather poor blue male kittens, and obtained first prize.
After a little persuasion, Mrs Yeend bought him and registered him Mischief of Bredon. He had a most successful show career as a kitten being Best Blue Male Kitten every time shown. After the Crystal Palace show, Mr Lawson Atkinson of Bradford bought him from Mrs Yeend, however, the following year Mrs Yeend bought him back, paying a very big price.
Fur and Feature, January 1930
Meet the Family
Brown Spotted Bengal, Liqidamba Fire Opel, with her three stunning rosetted kittens at three days old. Born on their grandmother, Llandar Daisymackensie’s third birthday. Will they achieve BIS three times like her?!!
Benson the Black Smoke British Shorthaired says:
“All these stretching exercises are wearing me out!”
Bengal kitten, Wildside Manasa says:
“Draw up a chair and join me!”