This is a cute, loving cat story and to me it brings to mind the spread of the domestic cat many hundreds of years ago from the Middle East, and subsequently other countries, to all corners of the globe.
A ginger, tabby and white female cat, who was pregnant, was probably seeking a den and food at the docks at Algeciras, Spain, a port city.
She got into a pallet of food and other supplies which was loaded onto a launch boat for a larger vessel which was about to set sail for Houston, USA. She ended up sailing to Houston on the 13th March. She got lucky because the crew discovered her and America is by and large a good place for a domestic cat to be.
She was first spotted on the deck of the ship soaked to the skin. A crew member picked her up and dried her off. She gave birth soon after. The crew decided to check for other kittens and found three. They named them after radio tag signals: Bravo, India, Juliette and Zulu.
When the ship arrived at Houston on 2nd April, more luck was in store for mom and her kittens. The ship’s American agent happened to be a volunteer for a rescue organisation: League City Animal Shelter. So, the ship’s crew had a first rate contact in America to help them through the lengthy process of enabling mom cat and her offspring to become US citizens and to find new homes.
Naturally there were a lot of boxes to be ticked and vet checks to be done including the obligatory quarantine. They sailed through all the hurdles!
We have to thank the ship’s crew, The Friends of League City Animal Shelter and the volunteer rescue worker/ship’s agent and the others who played their part in making this informal immigration successful.
At the time of writing I understand they are in quarantine and when the period has concluded they’ll be adopted into new homes. The names are to be retained.
Perhaps this is exactly how many domestic cats were introduced to new countries from the Middle East during the early years of the domestication of the cat.
Of course there were other ways such as ship’s cats and overland routes but I sense that semi-feral cats not infrequently ended up onboard ships because docks are places where there is food and often community cat colonies form up at docks for that reason.
Source: Guidry news