Asiatic U.S. sailors, virtually permanent residents of China before World War II, were an unparalleled breed of story tellers. More than one old China hand, including Cliff Harter when he was a civilian inspector for the Navy’s Supervisor of Shipbuilding in Seattle, swore that the following is an absolutely true story:
“When I was in the old gunboat TUTWILA, we had the smartest mascot you ever saw. You only had to show that cat once. When a kitten and wetting on deck for the first time, the bosun rubbed its whiskers in the pee and dropped it overboard through a porthole. The bedraggled kitten paddled through the muddy Yangtze to the accommodation ladder.
“From then on whenever wetting on deck, that cat quickly rub its whiskers in the pee and jump through a porthole!”