Able Seacat Simon

Simon, see left, who was the ship’s cat on HMS Amethyst, is going to be the subject of a novel.Giant George: life with the biggest dog in the world

Able Seacat Simon will tell the story of from his point of view of how he was discovered as a kitten by a British sailor in the docks of Hong Kong in 1948 and taken on board HMS Amethyst. He became the ship’s rat-catcher and was seen as the crew’s mascot, gaining the title “Able Seacat”. He was wounded from canon fire in the Yangtze conflict of 1949.

He was awarded the Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, for his bravery and his part in keeping the crew cheerful. He is still the only feline recipient.

It won’t be published for another year but Lynne Barrett-Lee, who is writing the novel, has written books like Giant George – the true story of what it’s like to share your life and home with the world’s biggest dog, which has already been rated 5 star.

One thought on “Able Seacat Simon

  1. Why wait until 2016 to read about Able Seacat Simon when his memoir is already available on Amazon in paperback and kindle versions!
    Narrated by Simon himself, this extraordinary reimagining has terrific reviews from Sheila Jeffries, author of bestselling cat books ‘Solomon’s Tale’ and ‘Solomon’s Kitten’, Celia Haddon, author of bestseller ‘Tilly, the ugliest cat’ and numerous other animal books, along with several Amazon Top 100 reviewers!

    Here’s the synopsis of Able Seacat Simon’s book:

    When Simon, a mischievous young cat, is smuggled on board HMS Amethyst, his simple life amidst the streets of Hong Kong is transformed into an adventure fit for heroes.
    But alongside new friend Peggy, the ship’s dog, he discovers a mortal enemy in king rat Mao Tse Tung.
    Under heavy fire from the Chinese Communists, the ship runs aground, stranded for 101 agonising days. Despite severe injuries, Simon and the crew bravely battle their respective foes, enabling Amethyst to make an epic escape. Heralded worldwide as heroes, they sail into Plymouth to a jubilant welcome, but further heart-rending tragedy.
    Bringing joy and compassion to those on board, Simon is the only cat to have been awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal, the highest honour for animal gallantry in wartime.
    Based on the true events of Amethyst’s ‘Yangtze Incident’, Simon’s quirky yet emotional cat’s eye narrative is sure to move and entertain all who read it.

    Author Jacky Donovan might not have nine lives, but she does have a few. Having become bored of being a ‘Stepford’ housewife in Southampton, Jacky packed her bags and headed to London just over a decade ago. She’s now an established author and, more importantly, curious about cats. Her latest book “Simon Ships Out: A heroic cat at sea” – the memoir of the world’s first celebrity cat! – has just been published to great acclaim in the UK. She is a regular contributor to Huffington Post and Sabotage Times. In between her writing she has recently trekked to see Mount Everest; tandem jumped from a tiny plane; been on Canarian TV due to her crazy long fingernails; run a lesbian dining club; escaped from a yoga holiday in a dinghy; and regularly does charity work for Breast Cancer and Gay Pride. She currently spends her time between London and Gran Canaria.

    She can be contacted via

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