Cats have an unfair reputation. Dogs are viewed as loyal companions (the name Fido literally comes from the Latin word meaning loyalty) who will faithfully defend their families from attackers and rescue them from house fires. Cats, meanwhile, are stereotyped as standoffish, snobby, and uncaring. Well, I am here to tell you that’s just not true. Any cat can be a hero. For proof, look at these examples. Some are true, and some are only true in our hearts, but all show that Fido isn’t the only defender of the family.
Simon was the ship’s cat of the HMS Amethyst, a British vessel whose home port was Hong Kong, from 1948 to 1949. He was a spectacular mouser (very important on a ship!) and received an award for keeping his crew healthy and boosting morale during and after a naval battle. Sadly, Simon’s glory was short-lived, and after an injury and an illness, he passed away in 1949, age approximately two years old.
In 1996, Scarlett was caring for her litter in an abandoned garage in Brooklyn when a fire broke out. She rescued her five kittens, one by one, despite becoming severely injured in the process. Though one kitten died a month later of unrelated causes, the other four and Scarlett herself recovered and were eventually adopted. She lived a long life after that, passing away in 2008 at the age of 13.
Tama was the official stationmaster of a backwoods railway stop in Japan from 2007 to her death in 2015. She is credited with boosting the local economy by double digits on the power of her cuteness alone. When she died, she became the Honorable Eternal Stationmaster of her station and was declared a goddess in the Shinto religion.
Tara is a cat who lives in Bakersfield, California. In 2014, her family’s four-year-old son was attacked by a neighborhood dog. Tara launched herself at the dog, stopping it from dragging the boy away. He was injured, but recovered. Tara was unhurt and later threw out the first pitch at a local minor league baseball game.
Crookshanks is a supernaturally smart cat who serves as companion to Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter universe. He may not be very handsome, but he saves the day on numerous occasions, targeting a bad guy who takes the form of a rat, and supporting a stray dog who turns out to be a hero.
The Cat in the Hat has been teaching children to read for generations. He’s a trickster, but really, all he wants to do is have fun using small words, and what’s wrong with that? Just beware of Thing One and Thing Two.
And finally, for real proof of cats’ standing as heroes and protectors, see the Egyptian goddess Bastet. She was the goddess of cats, protection, and families, among other things. Ancient Egyptians worshipped cats for their excellent mousing skills, which kept grain supplies safe and families healthy. It is said that once cats learned they were treated as deities, they never forgot it. With this kind of track record, it’s no wonder.