Mrs. Chippy and Blackborow
DIMENSIONS: 19.5” X 27”
(49.5 CM X 68.6 CM)
PRICE: $19.95 US
PHOTOGRAPH BY: FRANK HURLEY
IMAGE SOURCE: Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, UK
Nineteen year old Welshman Perce Blackborow joined the Endurance when it docked in Buenos Aires on its way south. Blackborow had been rejected by Shackleton as being too young and too short on experience for the expedition. With the help of his friend William Bakewell, who had just been hired on, and Walter How, Blackborow stowed away in a locker in the fo'c'sle. Discovered seasick, tired and hungry three days after the Endurance had set sail from Buenos Aires, Blackborow was harshly dressed down by the boss in front of the crew. Shackleton finished by whispering in Blackborow's ear, "Do you know that on these expeditions we often get very hungry, and if there is a stowaway available, he is the first to be eaten?"
Mrs. Chippy was the male cat of ship's carpenter Henry McNish. The cat got its title from the traditional nickname for a carpenter, "Chippy". Mrs. Chippy quickly became the ship's mascot and, in that inimitable feline way, caused many a ruckus with the kennel-bound sled dogs.