Gli the Famous Cat of Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

Gli, whose name in Turkish means union of love, has lived in the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul for many years happily greeting tourists to the historic spot. Hagia Sophia, built in 537 AD, was a Byzantine cathedral before it was turned into a mosque by Ottoman conquerors in 1453. The church served as a mosque […]

Mike, The British Museum Cat (1909-1929)

A tabby cat named Mike kept mice, pigeons and dogs at bay at the British Museum for almost 20 years.  Mike came to the attention of the well-known Egyptologist E. A. Wallis Budge when the resident cat Black Jack deposited a kitten at his feet, the future Mike.  He was noted to be friendly and […]

Trim, the Ship’s Cat

Trim was a seafaring cat who accompanied Matthew Flinders on his many adventures. Trim was born on board the HMS Reliance in 1799 while it was sailing from the Cape of Good Hope to Botany Bay. The 25 year old lieutenant, Matthew Flinders, took a liking to the kitten right away after seeing what a […]

Cats in 20th Century History (Cats in War-Faith the Church Cat)

Faith the church cat was awarded a PDSA silver medal for her bravery during the London Blitz on October 12, 1945.  In 1936, Faith, a stray cat, came to take up residence at St. Augustine’s church.  After being turned away three times, Father Henry Ross allowed her to stay.  Even though notices were posted, no one […]

Cats in the 20th Century (Cats in War-Simon)

Several cats earned awards and medals for their distinguished service during wartime.  Created in 1943, the Dickin Medal, also known as the Animals Victory Cross, is awarded to animals for “conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty” while serving in Britian’s military or civil service.  The only cat to have gotten this award to date is […]

Cats in 20th Century History (Cats in War-Unsinkable Sam)

Even though some refute the story of this buoyant cat as being true, it is an amazing story of survival which most probably inspired hope in bleak wartime. The black and white cat Oscar “(Oskar in German)”, or as he later became known, Unsinkable Sam, was ship’s mascot on the German battleship Bismarck. Out of […]

Cats in 20th Century History (Cats in War)

    Throughout both World War I and World War II cats in war exhibited bravery in extreme situations.  Serving on battleships and in the trenches, cats proved their heroism in dire circumstances by doing what they were best at, being mousers, mascots, and affectionate companions.  During WWI, the British employed more than 500,000 cats […]

Cats in 20th Century History (Mrs. Chippy)

As WWI was just beginning, an adventurous cat, Mrs. Chippy, accompanied Sir Ernest Shackleton‘s Antarctic voyage of 1914/15.  Mrs. Chippy, a grey tabby tomcat, acquired his name because he constantly followed around the ship’s carpenter and master shipwright Henry (Harry) McNeish.  “Chippy” is a British nickname for a carpenter, and even though the cat was […]

Cats in the 20th Century History (Sir Winston Churchill’s Cats)

Cats have even been long standing residents of 10 Downing Street brought to the address by Prime Ministers and other staff as mousers or as just pets.  However, perhaps the most famous cat lover and resident of 10 Downing Street was Sir Winston Churchill, who served as Britain’s prime minister from 1940-1945 and 1951-1955. Sir […]

Cats in the 20th Century (Cats in Literature-Haruki Murakami)

The Japanese author, Haruki Murakami known for liking and having cats has included them in many of his works.  In The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle the story revolves around Toru Okada’s missing cat that he loves more than any of the women with whom he has encounters.  The cat also serves as an omen for the […]

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