The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia is throwing a retirement party in honor of their rodent control officer, Erik the Red. The cat has been dutifully serving as a ratter on the CSS Acadia since 1998, catching any vermin stowaways that made it aboard. While the 102-year-old ship does not leave the dock, many mice and rats have made their way onto the boat.
After 16 winters on the old ship, the cold weather is starting to get to the cat in his old age, so he will be retiring to live with Steven Read, the shipkeeper. An elaborate pirate-themed party is being planned to give the cat a proper send-off.
Erik the Red was originally an uninvited guest on the ship. When he arrived, a building near the boat was being torn down, which caused a surge of rodents to jump onto the vessel. Unluckily for the rats, Erik was serendipitously there to clear them out. Although the boat already had another ratter named Clara, she was less enthusiastic about the position, so Erik quickly found himself with a job. "He came aboard and took to his rodent control duties with an incredible flourish," says Read.
The send-off party will be taking place on September 20th. Fans are invited to call a hotline and record their favorite memories of the feline. Pictures and videos of the cat are also being collected for the big day.