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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Anaqua (AN-40)

Net Tender Stories

Written by Glenn Paulson USS Anaqua (AN-40)

USS Anaqua pet cat "Kitty Cat"

Our cat was smuggled aboard in May of 1944 just before we left Seattle for Alaska. After 67 years I cannot recall what we named the cat so I will call her Kitty Cat. Kitty Cat enjoyed the trip up the inland passage. When we reached the rough open waters of the North Pacific she had quite a struggle. On deck she would get banged against the gunwales. Inside she would get banged against the bulkheads. We thought for sure she would be injured, but it didn't seem to bother her. She would slip and slide all over the place. She didn't get seasick either.

Most of our assignments out of Dutch Harbor involved going out to sea. We never did work on the nets there. Sometimes we laid and picked up buoys and salvaged submarine cable at various locations. Mostly however we hauled freight and passengers in the island chain and to a Coast Guard Loran station 500 miles north in the Bearing Sea. We must have been on standby only as a Net Tender because we only had 1 net assignment in the time that we were there. The seas were very rough up there.

Kitty Cat soon got her sea legs. If it wasn't too rough she could walk like the rest of us. If it was very rough she would crouch down and just gently slide around. We loved her and she loved the crew, especially the galley crew who fed her.

In October, while hauling cargo from Cold Bay to Dutch Harbor, we were in a vicious storm. Kitty Cat didn't seem to mind. We were out in the worst part of it for a couple of days. After returning to Dutch Harbor it was finally decided that because of storm damage to the ship we would have to return to Seattle for repairs.

Kitty Cat was still with us while we were in the ship repair yards in Seattle and San Francisco. She liked to walk around the dock area. She never became lost and always came back to the ship.

In March 1945 we headed for the Pacific with a camouflaged green ship destined for Okinawa. Kitty Cat never earned a battle star and neither did we. We had continued occurring steering problems on the voyage. After entering the dry dock at Pearl Harbor we were told that we needed new steel on our wooden hull due to water leakage. The Okinawa assignment was scrubbed.

We had only been tied up to the dock at Pearl Harbor for a couple of days when Kitty Cat didn't return to the ship while strolling around the dock area. We were all pretty sad while waiting for her return. We were then told that some of the islanders there liked cat meat and that you should never let a cat loose around there.

We were there for 2 months and no one ever did see a cat by itself.

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