USS Hornet Museum Launches Living Ship Days 2016 with "Tails of the Tomcat"

Clubs and Organizations

February 8, 2016

Special Feb. 20th fundraiser for Alameda Animal Shelter explores fascinating history of feline ship mascots

To kick off Living Ship Days 2016, the USS Hornet Museum (Hornet) will pay tribute to the furry, unsung heroes of the high seas domestic cats and raise funds for the Friends of Alameda Animal Shelter on Saturday, February 20 at 1:00 p.m. with "Tails of the Tomcat," presented by award-winning author and photographer Dr. Paul Koudounaris. The special presentation will take place aboard the Hornet, which is located at 707 W. Hornet Ave., Pier 3 in Alameda, CA. The public and media are invited.

 While the idea of a being a specialist in feline history may strike some as odd, Dr. Koudounaris has intrigued audiences and readers around the world with his offbeat, sometimes strange, and always fascinating stories about cats. And who says cats are afraid of water? The remarkable history of feline ship mascots, with its tales of adventure and courage (and occasional indifference to danger we're talking about cats, after all), goes back to the days of Ancient Egypt. Cats were once such a standard feature on any respectable boat that no captain worth his salt would set sail without one! In fact, cats have participated in famous naval battles, won medals, and even traveled to the South Pole.

 "Tails of the Tomcat" is hosted in partnership with Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS), which was founded in 2009 by a small group of volunteers dedicated to providing veterinary care for animals at the shelter. In 2012, FAAS took over the management of the shelter when budget cuts threatened its closure. The group has since grown to nine staff members and more than 100 volunteers, who provide daily care to over 60 animals.

Shelter volunteers will be on hand at the February 20th event to accept donations of unused dog and cat toys, pet food (including opened dry food), and unused rabbit toys. Monetary contributions are also welcome. Adult visitors who bring toy and food donations will receive 50% off the Hornet's adult admission price.

The February 20th Living Ship Day will run from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and feature the Big Band music of the USS Hornet Band at 11:00 a.m. General admission prices apply and include Dr. Koudounaris' presentation.

Held on the third Saturday of each month, Living Ship Days celebrate the vibrant history of the USS Hornet and her exploits in ways that build connections between her past and present. Starting at 10:00 a.m. and running until 4:00 p.m., Living Ship Days feature live music by the USS Hornet Band, lectures, demonstrations, flight simulations, and walking tours that offer a view into the life of the sailors who served on this historic aircraft carrier. Visitors can meet former crew members, sit in the cockpit of a fighter jet, and enjoy all the sights and sounds that bring naval aviation to life.

For more information on Living Ship Days and the Hornet fundraiser for the Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter, please contact Heidi Schave at (510) 521-8448, ext. 224.



 About the USS Hornet Museum: 

The USS Hornet Museum, a popular tourist destination in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to inspiring people of all ages. Through field trips and live-aboard experiences, the USS Hornet, which opened as a museum in 1998, offers educational programs focusing on naval history, science, and space technology. A registered state and national historic landmark and home of the largest collection of Apollo space mission artifacts on the West Coast, the ship is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and permanently berthed at 707 W. Hornet Ave., Pier 3 in Alameda, CA.  Regular museum admission is $10 for youths age 7-17 (age 6 and under are free with paying adult); $15 for students with ID, seniors, and military with ID; and $20 for adults. Admission is free for Museum members. Ample free parking is available across from the pier. The USS Hornet is also a unique, unforgettable venue available for corporate events; trade shows and expos; private parties and big band dances; and TV and film productions. For more information, including group tours and event planning, visit: or call (510) 521-8448.


Media contacts:


Victoria Sanchez De Alba / De Alba Communications (for USS Hornet Museum)

(650) 270-7810 /


Heidi Schave, USS Hornet Museum

510) 521-8448 ext. 224 /