And now, a short break from my regularly serious program…. Trying to stay sane as our giant snowstorm turns into a giant cold and gray rainy day.
Today I read a short news item in our local newspaper about the newest recipient of Britain’s Dickin medal.
The Dickin medal, awarded to animals in wartime for bravery and devotion to duty, is the highest military honor an animal can receive. A bomb-sniffing black Lab in Afghanistan named Treo won it this year.
I was intrigued by this about the medal: “It has been presented to 63 animals since its inception in 1943, including 32 World War II carrier pigeons, three horses and a cat.”
Thirty-two pigeons. One cat. What gives??
Wikipedia says this about the cat’s win:
1949: Simon – the ship’s cat on HMS Amethyst during the Yangtze Incident, noted for surviving injuries from a cannon shell, raising morale and killing off a rat infestation during the incident, by doing this duty despite being wounded. He was raised to the fanciful rank of “Able Seacat” and awarded a campaign medal. The medal was sold by the Royal Navy and is now a valuable collectors item, partly because Simon has been the only cat to win the medal
I don’t know why I think it’s so funny that only one cat has won. For sure there’s just something about them being beaten out by so many birds that tickles my funny bone.
On the other hand, I think this kitty really does deserves a medal!