Humans have been making history since the dawn of documented time. It’s only natural, of course, since they’re the ones documenting it. But did you know that cats have made history too? From astronauts to spies to navy officers and politicians, we manage to do quite a bit of living in our nine lives!
Don’t believe me? Here are five famous felines whose fabulous tales are definitely worth sharing.
Félicette, the Parisian Astrocat
Many of us have wondered what it’s like in outer space, but there is only one very lucky kitty who experienced it firsthand. Félicette is not only the first, but also the only cat who’s ever set paws off our planet and lived to tell the tale.
Despite her lofty achievements, Félicette was originally a Parisian stray. She was one of 14 cats trained by the French for space travel, several of whom did not survive. Unfortunately, Félicette herself was put to sleep shortly after her return, for scientific research.
*NOTE: The Catnip Times is against animal testing, nonetheless, Felicette deserves her place in history.
Originally named Oscar, Unsinkable Sam earned his new title after surviving three shipwrecks. According to Business Insider, Sam was a “veteran of the German battleship Bismarck, the HMS Cossack, and the HMS Ark Royal.”
Sam has even been featured by Ripley’s Believe it or Not. This feline navy officer started his military career with the Nazis, but had a change of heart when the Russians rescued him. He then went on to serve with the Brits after the Russian ship was torpedoed.
Sam died long after World War II, in 1955, of natural causes.
Trim, the Seafaring Adventurer
While not a wartime sailor, Trim was no less an adventurer than Unsinkable Sam. In fact, he was the companion of the man Australians consider the founder of their nation: Matthew Flinders.
Trim survived one shipwreck on the Great Barrier Reefs, and was later imprisoned by the French alongside his master, under suspicion of espionage. Unfortunately, Trim went missing during their imprisonment.
Flinders described Trim as “the best and most illustrious of his Race, the most affectionate of friends, faithful of servants, and best of creatures.”
Larry, the First Official Chief Mouser to the British Cabinet
The corgis are quite famous in Britain for being the Queen’s pooches of choice. But only cats are officially employed to serve the British Prime Minister and his Cabinet, as Chief Mousers.
While many cats were affectionately called Chief Mousers by the press, and had working salaries, from as far back as the reign of Henry VIII, Larry is the first feline to be officially awarded with the title. Larry has been in office since 2006 and has served under David Cameron and Theresa May.
According to the British government:
“Larry spends his days greeting guests to the house, inspecting security defenses and testing antique furniture for napping quality. His day-to-day responsibilities also include contemplating a solution to the mouse occupancy of the house. Larry says this is still ‘in tactical planning stage’.”
Hank, Political Philanthropist
Much more recent in history is Hank the Cat, who ran independently for Senate in 2012, and encouraged voters to vote the humans out of office. Hank finished the race in third place with 6000 votes. He also raised $60,000 for animal shelters.
Hank’s website is now outdated, and he hasn’t tweeted since 2012, but his Facebook page is still thriving despite his tragic death in 2014. The documentary about his political career was released this year, and his owner continues to work heavily with animal shelters in support of animal welfare causes.