The Cat Who Circumnavigated Australia
Mathew Flinders circumnavigated the globe, then became the first man to circumnavigate Australia, providing the first complete map in the process, and he was the man who named the continent Australia. He sailed in a row boat so small it was called the 'Tom Thumb.'
At his side all the way was his assistant between 1799 and 1804, a loyal cat called Trim.
Eventually they were marooned together on the island of Mauritius and Flinders was imprisoned for many years by the French as a spy. It was at this time that Trim met an unfortunate death. Mathew Flinders recorded in his journal at the time:
To the memory of Trim, the best and most illustrious of his race,
the most affectionate of friends, faithful of servants, and best of creatures.
He made the tour of the globe, and a voyage to Australia, which he circumnavigated,
and he was ever the delight and pleasure of his fellow voyagers...
People being people, when it came time to erect a memorial to the great man, the cat was totally forgotten, and a beautiful bronze sculpture of Flinders on his own was placed beneath spreading fig trees on the west side of the State Library.
Almost 200 years after the death of Trim, however, a movement started to restore the memory of Trim to its rightful place in history. Bronze cat-prints were placed at the base of Flinders' sculpture. A bronze sculpture of Trim was installed on a window ledge, looking up at his friend and fellow explorer.
The many writings about Trim by Mathew Flinders were collected together and published as a book called simply Trim.
Trim the Cat
Sculpture by John Cornwall