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Governors Island Cat Gets New Name

The newly named Molly Brown roams free on Governors Island.
The newly named Molly Brown roams free on Governors Island.
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Trust for Governors Island

By Julie Shapiro

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

GOVERNORS ISLAND — The stray cat that washed up on Governors Island finally has a name: Molly Brown, in honor of the Titanic passenger who saved lives as the ship was sinking.

Molly Brown received the most votes of the five final name options that were announced last week — besting the other candidates including Mary Ann, Ginger, Salty and Buttermilk.

The Trust for Governors Island received thousands of name suggestions since workers found the friendly feline on April 17, and more than 100 people voted for one of the top names this week.

"Molly Brown is a great name," said Elizabeth Rapuano, chief of staff for the Trust. "It captures the spirit of adventure, bravery and perseverance that she has brought with her to the Island."

The brave calico cat was discovered near the edge of the island after a weekend of storms, her fur matted with salt and dotted with seaweed, leading to the theory that she was swept into the harbor and either swam or floated ashore on a piece of debris.

The cat's namesake was known as "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" for her bravery in helping others board lifeboats after the Titanic hit an iceberg and later for insisting that her lifeboat go back and search for more survivors. She was played by Kathy Bates in James Cameron's Oscar-winning 1997 film version of the tragedy.

The Trust for Governors Island has not yet been able to find information about the feline Molly Brown's former owners, so for now she will remain free to roam Governors Island. The public will get their first glimpse of her when the island reopens for the season on May 27.