Fiji arrived on the Picton Castle when it docked in Kenosha last Thursday and she left on the majestic tall ship Monday.
During her time here, the cat who has been around the world wearing the collar that says “Leave me alone” apparently enjoyed Kenosha.
Many people who toured the Picton Castle were disappointed they didn’t see her. Many read about her in the Kenosha News in a story that reported she was rescued by the ship’s captain from an animal shelter on the island of Fiji during its 2014 world voyage.
The story noted, “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.”
While in Kenosha, crew members told visitors she went out and about on her own, sleeping on other ships and wandering around.
But some Kenoshans saw her Sunday night and are still talking about it.
She wandered into Captain Mike’s, 5118 Sixth Ave., and stayed awhile, delighting patrons who called her the “ship cat.”
Jason Kent was entertaining on open mic night Sunday. He sent photos and described Fiji’s visit there:
“She arrived at Captain Mike’s around 9 p.m., I believe. She came right in the bar and wandered all around under the tables and people’s feet.
“Quickly word spread that it was the ‘ship cat’ who has been to almost every country in the world.
“We were told she is known to leave the ship and go exploring the cities they dock at, but somehow always finds her way back to the ship by morning sail.
“I don’t think anyone knew her name, since we were all just calling her ‘ship cat.’ She only had a sign around her neck saying ‘Leave me alone.’
“At one point, she went in the men’s bathroom for a little while, then came back out to wander around the pub some more.
“At one point she went out the back door for a bit (that’s when I got the picture of her from behind at the door), then came back in to scoop through once again toward the front.
“As we began to greet her, she was more than kind to let one pet her, but only for a couple seconds — then she would begin to check things out again and mosey around — not the easiest to get photos of.
“One girl, a dear friend and local music lover, actually got to hold her for a few moments, but again, she had to move around and check things out. She was definitely a very curious cat!
“We all assumed she knew where to find where the music was happening on Sundays, ’cause she showed up and stayed there with us for the rest of the night. It was like she fit right in.
“She hovered mostly near the stage performance area and in front of the bar, where everyone hangs out to socialize and listen to the music.
“Later in the night as the open mic began to wind down, she started sitting down and relaxing more out front. That was when I was able to snap a couple photos of her while she was near the curb.
“She just sat there and watched the cars go by for a while. She also followed a few people up the street and even went across the street to others walking by.
“She still came back down to the bar though, even after a friend tried to get her to follow him down the road back to the ships. We put out a bowl of water for her from the bar so she could stay hydrated, too.
“She was definitely enjoying her time at Captain Mike’s, and her visit was extremely well received. She kind of stole the show for a while! And it was totally fine by us!
“I think we all fell in love with her. Even after the open mic was finished and my gear was all packed up, many people who were there for open mic had left — but she stayed.
“Upon leaving, I pulled away from that very first parking spot and ended up quickly flipping back around to help a friend whose car had died just across the street by jumping his battery.
“After that, I (went) to turn around again to head home and I noticed her sitting in the road in front of the pub right in the middle of that first parking spot where we were parked.
“She is definitely one of the more unique guests we have had over the 10½ years we have been hosting that Sunday night open mic there.”