|Crew Members with dogs aboard Titantic|
One pet belonged to the crew: Jenny the cat, whose job was to keep rats and mice at bay. Jenny had given birth to a litter of kittens prior to the ship’s first voyage out of Southampton, England. She was seen carrying each kitten, one by one, off the ship and into the city. A crew member who witnessed it decided Jenny knew something and was protecting her family. He quit his post and left the ship before it sailed.
When the Titanic struck an iceberg on the night of April 14th and began sinking, a crew member went below and opened the kennels so the dogs would have a chance to save themselves. But only three survived: a Pekinese belonging to Henry Sleeper Harper of Harper Publishing, and two Pomeranians. They were all taken onto the lifeboats by their owners. A story surfaced not long after the sinking that First Officer William Murdock’s black Newfoundland, Rigel, was seen swimming toward the rescue ship Carpathia and was adopted by the crew. That story was never proven true. Murdock perished in the disaster.
A dog show had been planned for the day of the sinking, which would have featured all the dogs on board. Also lost that day were the chickens. The fate of Jenny the cat is unclear, but we hope she remained in Southampton with her kittens and did not return to the ship.