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11 Times Cats Made History

Cats were making history long before they ruled the internet. Here are 10 noteworthy felines who left their pawprints on the world. 

Via: Mental Floss


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  • 1

    The cat who went to space

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    A cat named Felix was originally meant to be the first feline launched into orbit, but he never made it into the shuttle. When he ran away before completing the mission, a female cat dubbed Félicette was found to take his place. French scientists made history when they sent her to space on October 18, 1963. While most early animal missions into space were one-way trips, Félicette was safely recovered after parachuting back down to Earth.


  • 2

    The stars of the first cat video (long before the internet)

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    Via imgur

    The first-ever cat video didn't go viral, thanks to the fact that it was filmed a century before the internet became mainstream. The 22-second clip recorded in 1894 shows two cats duking it out in a miniature boxing ring. Even in the 19th century, it was obvious that cats were the perfect subjects for moving pictures.


  • 3

    The cat who survived three shipwrecks

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    If the saying that cats have nine lives is true, we know how Oscar used at least three of his. The cat was aboard the German battleship Bismarck in 1941 when it was struck by British forces during World War II. He was rescued by the British and taken to live aboard the destroyer Cossack, but his time there was cut short after that ship was also sunk a few months later. Fortunately, Oskar survived to live through a third and final shipwreck: the sinking of the aircraft carrier Ark Royal, which went down just three weeks after he came aboard. Oskar earned the moniker "Unsinkable Sam" and gained immortality as a maritime hero. The black and white cat was named Oscar and then became known as "Unsinkable Sam". 


  • 4

    The cat who dazzled Hollywood

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    Via Biography

    One of the most glamorous movie stars of the silent film era had four legs and a tail. There are many legends surrounding Pepper the cat's rise to fame. According to one story, she charmed a prolific filmmaker after sneaking on set and wandering between two actors during a scene. Appearing in at least 25 short films during her lifetime, Pepper's career rivaled that of many human actors.


  • 5

    The cat who sailed around the world

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    Via ABC News

    Between 1801 and 1802, Captain Matthew Flinders made history by becoming the first person to circumnavigate the continent of Australia. But Flinders wasn't alone: He brought his pet cat Trim along for the ride. During the voyage, Trim was shipwrecked, fell overboard, and was captured by the French. Trim eventually escaped, but was never seen by his owner again. Flinders preserved Trim's memory by writing a children's story starring the furry adventurer.


  • 6

    The cat who guarded the British museum

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    Mike became famous for working at the museum from 1909 to 1924. He was a diligent cat who helped guard standing at the gate of British Museum for 15 years.Mike was effective at wrangling stray dogs and keep them away from the museum. After he retired from duty, he lived as a spoiled pensioner until his death in 1929. Following his death, obituaries were published in some of the world's largest newspapers.


  • 7

    The First cats in the White House

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    Sixteen U.S. presidents sat in office before we finally got a cat in the White House. Abraham Lincoln received his presidential pets, Tabby and Dixie, as gifts from Secretary of State William Seward. Cats became a source of comfort for the president: He was often seen petting, playing with, and even holding one-way conversations with cats for extended periods of time. Once he was caught sneaking Tabby food under the table during a formal White House dinner. When Mary Todd Lincoln shamed him for feeding a cat from a golden fork, he replied, "If the gold fork was good enough for former President James Buchanan, I think it is good enough for Tabby."


  • 8

    The cat who ran for mayor - and won

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    Cats have a way of bringing people together, so it's only natural that they would have a knack for politics. When citizens of Talkeetna, Alaska, felt uninspired by the mayoral candidates they had to choose from in 1997, they launched a write-in campaign for Stubbs the cat. Stubbs's charisma managed to win her the election, and she's served as the town's honorary feline mayor ever since.


  • 9

    The cats who modeled for Leonardo Da Vinci

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    Leonardo da Vinci is best known for his art exploring the human form, but he apparently had a strong interest in cat anatomy as well. His illustration Study of Cat Movements and Position depicts over 20 cats, lions, and one dragon in various poses. His doodles of domestic cats seem to have been drawn from real life, but, just like the Mona Lisa, the identity of the cat model remains a mystery.


  • 10

    Tama, The Canny Calico

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    Tama is a sharp-witted business cat. He is credited with saving a railway line. Tama was appointed by a stationmaster in 2007. His position came with a uniform, an official stationmaster cap and jacket.Tama immediately starts bringing travelers and tourists to the station and saving the Kishigawa railway line from almost certain bankruptcy. Tama held this honorable post until she died in 2015. She brought an estimated $8.9 million in revenue to the local economy.




  • 11

    Fred The Undercover Kitty

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    Fred the cat, was adopted by a Brooklyn deputy district attorney in 2005 was kept in work as an undercover sting to gather information of unlicensed vet. After that successful operations, he was brought in front of the press for the first time where he received a lot of appreciations.He was also awarded by Law Enforcement Achievement award. Later, Fred became a spokescat for animal adoption.



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