As chronicled in the classic Endurance, Shackleton's expedition to Antarctica is regarded as one of the most perilous in history. After sailing halfway around the world, his ship became trapped in a sea of ice, and during the subsequent weeks, then months, as the ice thickened, its hull was eventually crushed. All 29 crew members were pushed to their limits to survive... including the level-headed, quick-thinking Mrs. Chippy, a robust (male) cat.
No ordinary cat, Mrs. Chippy worked with his human companion, Harry "Chippy" McNeish, the ship's carpenter, on many projects, from mending equipment to building a new ship. But his duties went much further. As he reveals in this honestly crafted diary, Mrs. Chippy's larger role was crucial: pacing the decks to watch for changes in the weather, tormenting the sled dogs and patrolling the canteen for stray mice. The days were long, but Mrs. Chippy held the ship together. Though not everyone appreciated his hard work, he was kind enough not to flaunt his mental superiority over his well-meaning human shipmates.