In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.

-Terry Pratchett

Bastet (also known as B’sst) was an ancient Egyptian feline deity.  Originally revered as a ferocious lioness warrior, Bastet’s image gradually softened until she became the goddess of perfume and house cats.A study conducted by the University of Tokyo in 2013 revealed that cats recognize their owners’ voices but choose to ignore them.

It was once rumored that Tibbles, a lighthouse keeper’s cat, exterminated an entire species of bird on a New Zealand island back in 1894.  Although Tibbles certainly did no favors for the flightless Lyall’s wren, experts now attribute their ultimate downfall to additional, non-Tibbles related factors.

The British Post Office formally hired cats to keep mice in check from 1868 until 1984.  The most legendary among them is Tibs the Great, who kept the post office’s headquarters completely free of mice during his 14 year career.  Billed as the British Post Office’s “number one cat,” Tibs the Great weighed 23 pounds at the time of his death. This was more likely due to him living in a staff dining room rather than his hunting proficiency.

A cross between a male lion and a female tiger is known as a liger.  Ligers are the biggest cats on earth and can weigh over 900 pounds. If you meet a liger, be nice to it.

The smallest cat on record is a male blue point Himalayan-Persian.  Tinker Toy of Taylorville, Illinois stood 2.75 inches tall and weighed a whopping one pound and six ounces.  He was born in 1990 and lived to be six years old.

Cheshire Cat Chess is played like normal chess but with two additional rules: Once a space has been used, it may never be used again, and a king may move like a queen during its first move.

On October 24th, 1963, Félicette became the first cat ever to enter space.  She was launched 130 miles above the ground on a French Véronique AG1 rocket, and she survived her 15 minute voyage completely intact.  We imagine Félicette was in a poor mood upon her return.

Cats can vocalize about 100 different sounds, but they do not meow to each other.

Faith the cat moved into Saint Augustine’s Church in London in 1936.  For whatever reason, Faith felt something was amiss on September 6th, 1940, so she moved her only kitten, Panda, from the comfort of the church’s upper floors down to the basement.  The next day the church was pulverized by the very first wave of bombings during the Blitz. Faith and Panda were saved from the rubble, and Faith received a special medal for her bravery.

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Cats have made their own mark in history.  Accidental cat prints have been found on a 1st century Roman roof tile, the pages of a 15th century Croatian manuscript, and a 16th century Japanese plate.

In 2012, Sugar the cat of Boston, Massachusetts fell 200 feet from her owner’s 19th story window.  She landed on a patch of mulch and walked away from the ordeal unscathed. Sugar hit the ground at approximately 77 miles per hour.  

Voice actor Mel Blanc once explained that Sylvester the Cat’s voice is identical to Daffy Duck’s except that it has an even more exaggerated lisp and is not sped up in post-production.

President Jimmy Carter lived in the White House with his pet Siamese cat named Misty Malarkey Ying-Yang.  Contrary to what most people think, it was public opinion of President Carter’s cat’s name that cost him the reelection, not the failure of Operation Eagle Claw.

 

By David Scheller