Monday, May 26, 2008


Simon is not a Feline Rescue Cat; he's a cat my Mom met on a recent trip to Scotland, sleeping on a chair in a castle.

I should say, apparently sleeping, because after a few close looks during which no movement was detected she picked him up and discovered he was a tiny war memorial, with an information sticker underneath.

The label explained that his name was Simon, and that he is the only cat to have been awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal. Somewhere I read (or imagined) that this award was named after the gentle, animal-loving Yorkshire character in the Frances Hodgkin Burnett story The Secret Garden, as was our gentle Dicken, with his deformed feet. But no, it's simply named after the founder of the British PDSA, originally the "People's Dispensary for the Sick Animals of the Poor," Maria Dickin.

Simon was a Navy cat in Hong Kong and Malaysia during the "interwar" period after World War II. After having been gravely wounded himself when his ship came under attack, he spent his convalescence comforting other seamen in sick bay, and dispatching the burgeoning rat population. His story is fascinating, and I recommend you visit this detailed story of his life, including multiple photos and report of first-person descriptions. Also check out more photos, and the story of the Amethyst, Simon's ship.

We are not surprised to see that the most highly decorated feline in the English-speaking word is a feisty tuxedo cat, but I doubt Simon has any more extra-special qualities than does the next cat. Sometimes the worst of circumstances bring out the best of qualities, and with it the opportunity to be recognized and an inspiration to others in similar circumstances.

Send some purrs and prayers and thanks to others who have served, and maybe something more tangible to those who are still in harms way this Memorial Day.


  1. Excellent post for Memorial Day and OF COURSE this heroic kitty was a black and white tuxedo. He may not have intended to save the world, but I'm sure he wanted to be in the middle of the action.

  2. Great story! I love the picture of Simon with the three men.


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