Early polar exploration was a lonely business where sailors would be stuck on their ships for months, subsisting on barely edible rations among some of the world’s most inhospitable climates. However the Shackleton expedition was made just a bit brighter by the presence of the ship’s cat, Mrs. Chippy.
Harry McNeish was a carpenter on Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition to Antarctica, as well as a member of the long journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia to look for help and rescue for the rest of the expedition members. He was also known as the caretaker of Mrs. Chippy, the cat that accompanied the men until the Endurance became trapped in pack ice. Unfortunately Mrs. Chippy was shot along with the sled dogs once the team became trapped in the ice.
To honor the brave kitty, the New Zealand Antarctic Society added a bronze statue of Mrs. Chippy to McNeish’s grave in 2004, seen as he would usually lounge on his bed onboard the ship.