Having a cat or dog on board a tall ship is not new, and Picton Castle, one of the largest tall ships coming to Kenosha Aug. 1–4, has had quite a few.

The newest resident is a delightful little feline named Fiji. She was rescued by the ship’s captain in 2014 from an animal shelter on the island of Fiji during their 2014 world voyage. And now Fiji is coming to Kenosha.

But she almost didn’t. Fiji is so lovable that someone picked her up while the ship was visiting Buffalo, N.Y., one of the stops on the Tall Ships Challenge Race Series Tour. Despite her harness with her name and the ship’s name, she was taken to the local shelter. A few phone calls later, she was returned to the ship.

Crew members are assigned to feed Fiji daily. If they didn’t, Fiji would beg for treats all day long from anyone who will feed her.

She sleeps in the ship’s scullery just off the galley. And crew members feel honored when she picks their bunk. It is the ultimate sign of acceptance.

You can meet Fiji during Picton Castle’s deck tours at the Kenosha Tall Ships Festival.

For more information about festival tickets and day sail tickets Aug. 2–4 at the harbor front, Sixth Avenue and 54th Street, visit www.kenoshatallships.com.

The tall ship rendezvous in Kenosha is made possible by a collaboration of Tall Ships America, a nonprofit organization based in Newport, R.I., and port cities around the Great Lakes.

Tall Ships America organizes the Tall Ships Challenge annual series of tall ship races to celebrate our rich maritime heritage and traditions and to inform the general public about the transformative power of adventure and education under sail.

In 2019, the tall ship races are officially sponsored by Erie Insurance. Based in Erie, Pa., Erie Insurance is a Fortune 500 company offering auto, home, business and life insurance through a network of more than 12,000 local independent Erie agents.

Patricia Locke is Tall Ships Festival consultant for the city of Kenosha.

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