The description of this book in Goodreads is wrong. Totally NOT this book. From Wikipedia:The Adventures & Brave Deeds Of The Ship's Cat On The Spanish Maine: Together With The Most Lamentable Losse Of The Alcestis & Triumphant Firing Of The Port Of Chagres is the full title of The Ship's Cat, a narrative poem by Richard Adams with illustrations by Alan Aldridge, first published in 1977 by Jonathan Cape [US Knopf]. It describes the adventures of an anthropomorphized Elizabethan ship's cat.The Ship's Cat is introduced as a patriotic swashbuckling crewmember of the English privateer Alcestis. After attacking a lone Spanish ship, the Alcestis is defeated by Spanish reinforcements and its crew taken as captives to the Panamanian port of Chagres. The Ship's Cat is initially imprisoned, but the gaoler's daughter takes pity on him and has him released to serve in the gaoler's kitchen. After the gaoler and his companions become drunk celebrating Saint Philip's Day, the Ship's Cat steals the keys to the gaol and releases his shipmates. Together, they steal a ship from the harbor and sail for home, pursued by their erstwhile captors. Their pursuers are frightened off by the sudden appearance of Sir Francis Drake (outward bound on his global circumnavigation of 1577). After Drake departs, the Ship's Cat reveals that he has discovered a hoard of treasure in the ship's hold. The crew sail home to England, where they are greeted as heroes and the Cat is knighted by Queen Elizabeth I.From the inside front flap of the book jacket:Behold the Ship's Cat!In the golden days of Shakespeare and Good Queen Bess, this splendid sailor cat goes to sea for the glory of England. His magnificent adventure is a swashbuckling surprise from Richard Adams, who gave us the adventurous Tygers of The Tyger Voyage, the brave rabbits of Watership Down, and the great Bear Shardik. And . . . Alan Aldridge, the brilliant painter-illustrator of Butterfly Ball fame.Together, they bring us this dauntless fighting cat, bold and clever, this cat for all seasons, who swabs the decks and mans the guns and stands watch aloft. Until, suddenly . . . He is captured by the Spanish foe.He is thrown into a terrible dungeon.He outwits his captors.He joins forces with Sir Francis Drake.He finds amazing treasure.He is honored by the Queen herself!And, as we follow our Ship's Cat, Richard Adams's rousing tale (at once dramatic and droll) and Alan Aldridge's thirteen dazzling full-color, full-page pictures carry us into the heroic world of the olden sea ballads--a world of high adventure on the oceans, gallant ships a-sail, and the pageantry of Elizabethan England in all its color and derring-do.One of my all-time favorite picture books that is lamentably out of print. I just purchased a used copy to have it back in my collection. A great book for all ages. The narrative poem is challenging for younger readers (hence an excellent read-aloud), but combined with the illustrations create a truly swashbuckling story. A perfect jumping off point for a pairing with other books about cats, sailing, England, Queens, poetry, hero's journeys, geography and history. I would love to see this book reprinted to elevate the production quality to today's printing standards. It would be glorious.