Do You Know These Famous Cats? Part 3: Those Odd Furballs

Did you know there’s a cat that senses death and a kitty that survived three sinking battleships? Keep reading for a fantastic conclusion of our fifteen famous cat series.  Felines can be famous for all kinds of things, such as becoming a meme on the internet, helping out the law, and just being themselves.  This final article is about those kitties with interesting stories, unusual senses, and a peculiar set of circumstances.  If you haven’t checked out Part One: The Cats with Charm and Part Two: Paws of Power, read them now!

The Survivor of Three Ships

tumblr_mvtb4gtvE31qafvjmo1_400This cat was in many adventures, including the sinking of three battleships, all torpedoed in World War II!  His first ship was the Bismarck, a German battleship launched in 1939.  After the first sinking, he was found drifting on a board and was eventually picked up by the homebound British ship, the HMS Cossack.  They didn’t know his previous name, so he was given the name Oscar.  Shortly after the feline was picked up, the ship set sail again.  A few months after departure, his new ship crew met a similar fate.  He was found drifting on some wood and was washed ashore to Gibraltar.  British officers took him in and named him Unsinkable Sam, after they learned of his fate.  He was brought on the voyage of the HMS Ark Royal, the battleship that took down the Bismarck.  Unfortunately, the ship didn’t last long, and he was again drifting on wood.  He ended up back at Gibraltar, where he was assigned to the Governor General’s building to hunt mice.  He retired to Belfast, in a Home for Sailors where he lived peacefully.


The Cat that Comforts

Photo: Steerehouse.org

Photo: Steerehouse.org

Oscar is a therapy/hospice cat for the Steere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, located in Providence, Rhode Island.  He was adopted and raised in the dementia unit in 2005, and after six months, he started to visit patients.  He curled up with the patients on their bed and comfort them in their time of need, but not just anyone.  The nurses started to realize that the patients Oscar decided to snuggle with, passed away shortly afterwards.  Scientists believe that Oscar can smell a pheromone or the decaying of cells.  His presence brings comfort for the ill, to their families, and to the kids.  He allows the nurses to contact families so they can say their final goodbyes.  Oscar himself suffered from an allergic reaction in 2013, and his heart stopped beating for several seconds.  He was brought back and was in bed for three days.  He returned to work after he was well again.  In 2015, it was estimated that he has accurately predicted over 100 deaths.


The Companion of a Gorilla

10koko-allball1This famous feline had an interesting owner, the gorilla named Koko!  Koko received All Ball the cat in 1984 for her twelfth birthday.  The gorilla was given three kittens to choose from.  In the end, she chose a kitten with no tail.  Koko and the kitten were similar that way, since gorillas don’t have tails.  All Ball was a gray and white Manx and had an aggression issue.  But that didn’t stop Koko; All Ball was well-loved and was treated like a baby gorilla.  They were inseparable until, less than a year later, All Ball escaped from Koko’s enclosure and was hit by a car.  He passed away instantly, and Koko received many letters with condolences.  Koko was devastated, but she opened her heart and cared for many cats in need of love.


The Face of 9Lives

downloadThough you might not know his name, you’ve probably seen his face, or rather a cat that looks like him.  “Lucky” was rescued in 1968 by Bob Mardwick for the purpose of being mascot of the cat food brand 9Lives.  He was renamed Morris and his career in 1969, where began charming the country.  In his lifetime, he starred in 58 commercials from 1969 to 1978. Morris also ‘wrote’ three books and roles in two movies.  He was known for being a picky eater, only eating 9Lives.  He visited elementary schools to help educate children about pets.  Morris had his own secretary, since he accumulated so much fan mail.  He passed away at 19 and his legacy lives on at the 9Lives brand, as they use cats from shelters in his likeness.


The Cat of Church

faithIn 1936, Faith was out on the streets as a stray, looking for shelter and food.  She found St. Augustine’s Church and went inside.  The verger rejected her three times, but she managed to slip in and hide until Father Ross found her the next morning.  He allowed the cat to stay.  The staff put up a notice on the bulletin board for someone to claim Faith.  No one came for her so the church adopted her.  She went to all the services, caught mice, and charmed the parishioners.  In 1940, Faith gave birth to a male kitten named Panda.  A month later, she took Panda into the basement of the church, and they hid down there.  Father Ross tried to bring Panda back up but Faith kept bringing him downstairs, so eventually Father Ross left the cats alone.  The next day, the city was bombed as a result of World War II.  Two days later, the church and the surrounding area was also bombed.  Father Ross returned to the church from a nearby shelter and found firemen putting out a fire.  They asked Father Ross if anyone had been inside and Father Ross informed them about Faith and Panda.  The firemen told Father Ross that the cats couldn’t have survived, but he didn’t listen.  He went into the wreck to look for them and he found them safe, in the basement.  After he rescued the felines and took them away, the roof collapsed.  For her courage, Faith received a silver medal.  After the church was back up and running, Faith resumed watching over the church, and Panda watched over a residential nursing establishment.  She passed away peacefully in 1948.

These kitties sure got into some messes, didn’t they?  Thank you for reading the last part in a three part series about fifteen famous cats!  If your cat were famous, what would he or she be known for?
About the author: My name is Danielle Stone, and I went to school to be a Veterinary Technician.  I have always loved animals and I’ve had a couple of cats and a dog.  Oh and I love Felix the Cat!

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