UNITED KINGDOM – Dogs are usually known as man’s best friend. However, despite their aloof reputation, cats can be just as devoted and brave. As one kitty is honored for rescuing her owners from a house fire, let’s take a look at some other heroic felines.
Missy, a tabby from Newcastle, has a bit of a medical bent.
When she sensed there was something not quite right with her owner – if cats can ever said to be “owned” – Missy alerted her by refusing to stop pawing at her chest.
Angela Tinning says the first time it happened was back in 2013.
“Her behavior was so unusual I got checked out and it was found I had per-cancerous cells. Three years later it happened again.
“I felt fine and I honestly don’t think I would have bothered if she hadn’t drawn my attention to it. If it weren’t for her, my story could be very different today.
“She is my little hero.”
Crimean Tom, who is also known as Sevastopol Tom, saved British and French troops from starvation during the Crimean war in back in 1854.
The regiments were occupying the Russian town of Sevastopol and were not able to find food. Tom could.
He led them to hidden caches of food which had been stored by Russian soldiers and civilians.
Tom was taken all the way back to England with the soldiers when the war was over.
After his death in 1856, his body was stuffed and preserved and is a permanent part of the National Army Museum in London.
Smudge, who was from Thorne in South Yorkshire, became the complete guard cat when he chased away a couple of lads who had been hassling the two young human brothers he lived with.
Owner Sarah Fenton saw a group of boys push her then five-year-old son straight to the ground.
“Within seconds, Smudge shot out from the bushes, hissed and jumped up at one of the bullies, prompting them to beat a hasty retreat.”
This just goes to show – never mess with a cat.
Simon, who was a black and white ship’s cat, was awarded the Dickin Medal – the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross when he helped to save the lives of Royal Navy officers during the Chinese civil war in 1949.
In addition, he protected food stores from an infestation of rats on board the HMS Amethyst during a siege.
The brave chap suffered severe shrapnel wounds and was given a hero’s welcome when his ship finally returned to dock in Plymouth.
Simon, who was also given the rank of Able Seaman, lived long enough to get back to England where h died in quarantine just three weeks after he arrived home.
He was later buried in Ilford, Essex, with full military honors.
Other recipients of the Dickin medal include messenger pigeons, horses and dogs, but Simon is the only cat.
Prince Smokey, who was from Lichfield in Staffordshire, is yet another puss with diagnostic skills. When his owner Tina Teasdale started having chest pains, she assumed it was indigestion.
However, the Prince knew better.
Ms Teasdale explained that the cat had always seemed to sense when she was ill, so when he became so worked up and kept pouncing at her, she made an appointment to see her GP.
Tests revealed she desperately needed heart surgery.
“Had I not had treatment it could eventually have led to a heart attack. Without his unusual behavior I wouldn’t have followed it up with the doctor and who knows what could have happened.”
Cleo managed to overcome her fear of strangers to become a prize-winning heroine.
The timid tortoiseshell, who was from Chessington in Surrey, was named charity Cats Protection’s hero cat back in the year of 2014 after she raised the alarm her owner was ill.
Not only did her agitation alert Pauline Jenkins that husband Richard was indeed having a heart attack, but Cleo then clambered onto the bed and insisted on sitting with him while paramedics performed emergency treatment.
That’s despite the fact she would normally have run away whenever someone she didn’t know approached.
On Mr Jenkins’ return from hospital, Cleo stayed at his side around the clock until he was back on his feet.
The judge explained that they selected Cleo as the charity’s poster puss for her bravery.
“Cleo overcame her own fear of strangers to help her beloved owner. It was just that one factor that pushed it for me.”