Five Fantastic Felines

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Cats can bring a smile just by doing what they normally do. A few do so in amazingly helpful and inspiring ways.

The Brave Church Cat

A stray cat wandered into St Augustine's and St Faith's Church in London in 1936. She was named Faith and adopted by the rector and parishioners. She would sit at the pulpit while Father Henry Ross preached. In 1940, Faith gave birth to a single kitten named Panda. On September 6th, Faith demanded access to the church basement. When a door was opened for her, she carried her kitten down to the dark cellar. Father Ross retrieved the kitten twice, but Faith carried him back downstairs -twice. She even missed a church service, which was unusual. The next day, air raids began in the Battle of London, and by the 9th, 400 people had been killed and eight churches were destroyed by bombs. Father Ross returned to the church to find it ruined. He called for Faith and heard faint meowing in return. He retrieved both Faith and Panda from the rubble just before the roof collapsed. Faith was nominated for a Dinkin Medal, for which she was not eligible as a civilian, but she was awarded a special medal for bravery anyway. Faith was presented with the medal in a special ceremony in 1945 attended by the Archbishop of Canterbury. When Faith died peacefully at the age of 14, the church was again packed for her funeral.

The Taxi Cat

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Dan Somers drives a cab in West Palm Beach, Florida. His is the best-known cab in town since he began bringing his cat Rambo along while he works. Rambo loves to ride and look out the window, and people love riding with a cat. Rambo gets along well with most fares, but will hide under the seat when a drunk man is riding.

The Stationmaster

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Tama, a nine-year-old tabby calico, is credited with saving the Wakayama Electric Railway Company of Japan from financial ruin. Wakayama was losing money and laid off employees. Tama, who was born to a stray at the Kinokawa station, remained at her post (not that she had anywhere else to go). In January of 2007, she was named Stationmaster and the resulting publicity boosted ridership tremendously, saving Wakayama from bankruptcy. She is now the fifth-highest ranking officer in the company. Tama even has her own uniform and office!

The Cat with No Face

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Chase was in a traffic accident that left her without a nose, cheek skin, or eyelids. She also lost one leg. Chase has her own blog called Daily Tails of Chase, where her talent is listed as "Never lost a staring contest".

I was in an accident when I was 4 wks, I became disfigured. I have a Furry Will to survive and I am completely healed now at age 3. I require medication during the day to keep my eyes moist. I will always look different but I am in NO PAIN! I have seen 10 vets and they can attest to that! I'm a happy kitty and hope to help other humans (especially those disfigured) thru my work as a therapy cat feel just as great about themselves and realize that not everyone looks perfect and that is OK.

Chase was recently featured in a newspaper article that led to worldwide publicity. As a result, her blog has new fans, including the artist who goes by the name Namowal, who sent Chase this portrait. I used this as an illustration because photographs of Chase may be disturbing to the sensitive. She is also the recipient of poetry and personalized greeting cards. Chase is now a therapy cat working through Paws for Friendship, making appearances to encourage those with deformities and educate others about disabilities.

The Devoted Mother

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In 1996, a fire broke out in a suspected crack house in Brooklyn. A cat later named Scarlett was observed carrying her kittens out of the building one by one. She was severely burned, and blinded by blisters. She touched each kitten with her nose to make sure they were all safe from the fire, then collapsed. Firefighter David Giannelli took the cat and kittens to the North Shore Animal League clinic. The League received 7,000 applications to adopt Scarlett and her kittens! Three families were selected, and Scarlett made a full recovery. Scarlett's story was made into a book, Scarlett Saves her Family, and a children's book, The Bravest Cat. The North Shore Animal League created an honor in her name, the Scarlett Award, for animal heroism.

See also: Five Famous Felines and The LOLcat of Death.

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August 5, 2008 - 2:18am
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