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14 Notably Awesome Cats from History

Updated August 8, 2017 36.6k views14 items

Cats are wonderful creatures capable of a great many feats, from nearly always landing on their feet to providing some of the best cuddles known to man. But you may not realize there are all sorts of historically important cats as well. Just like dogs, cats are unique animals in that they have been domesticated - albeit only partially - to live alongside humans and cooperate in accomplishing common goals.

Though chief among these is rodent control, in modern history there have been individual cats here and there who have made names for themselves in other ways. Some have survived shipwrecks, careers in government, and even space travel. Some famous cats in history have been spooky, while others have just been downright lucky.

Take a moment to imagine what it must be like to be not only cute, cuddly, and fuzzy, but also daring, cunning, and adventurous? These cats don't have to imagine - they've lived the furry and fabulous life of one of the many awesome cats who made history.

  • Emily, Who Crossed the Atlantic and Back

    Emily is a cat from Wisconsin that apparently had a bit of a knack for hiding in inappropriate places - like most cats. Only she ended up in a world of trouble for it. Emily hid one day in a box of papers being prepared to ship to France. She spent three weeks on the ocean, sailing for Over There. When she was discovered, she was taken to a veterinarian in Nancy, France to be checked over and identified. She was thinner, but very much alive and well. Eventually, she flew back home in business class, not the cargo section, on a Continental Airlines flight and was reunited with her family.

  • Trim, Ship Cat on the HMS Reliance

    Trim, Ship Cat on the HMS Reliance
    Photo: Rodney Burton / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

    Throughout the centuries, cats have been helpful companions on ships. They keep down the population of rodents, which can spread disease as well as destroy the food supply and chew up nautical ropes. Ship cats such as Trim, who lived on the HMS Reliance (an exploration ship for the UK's Royal Army), have also served as companions to their humans. Captain Matthew Flinders took to Trim after the cat fell overboard and managed to climb back onto the ship. Together, they circumnavigated Australia between 1801 and 1803.