About Colonial Cats

The idea for the Colonial Cats series came from reading “Sea Venture: Shipwreck, Survival, and the Salvation of Jamestown,” by Kieran Doherty. What a fantastic story. It had everything, a terrible hurricane, a sinking ship, a deserted island, marriage, birth, death, and finally the arrival at a devastated Jamestown. How exciting! I wasn’t the first one to think so. William Shakespeare is widely believed to have based his play, “The Tempest,” on the very same event.

This story needed to be told for children, but who could tell it? There were no children on the Sea Venture, and although I could have used one of the young men who no doubt made up part of the crew, or even invented children to impart the tale, I had a more likely candidate in mind. Salt the cat was the perfect point-of-view character.

Cats were always a part of a ship’s crew, but never mentioned. They did their job keeping rats at bay, working in the shadows to keep the vessel free from vermin. Just like cats today, they navigated through human territory largely unobserved but always on alert. Even during the eighteen hours they spent sleeping, they were keenly aware of what was happening around them. That made Salt and his fellow felines the perfect narrators.

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