Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Tribute to Cats Who Served During Wars

This is a memorial to all the animals that were caught up and suffered equally in human wars, around the world and in different times, that has been erected in England's London's Park Land. In 1975 the British Royal Navy banned cats and all animals from serving on its ships to the tragedy of the death of a most beloved and highly missed tradition.

One extraordinary tail (that has no date attached to it) revolves around Bofors the rabbit and a female cat known as Preedy. Cat and bunny were on 'quite good terms' with each other and had all their meals together. Though Bofors, it seems, was indifferent to mice in general as Preedy learned to her eternal confusion, when she'd take pains to catch one, play for a while and drop it at the Bofors's feet. He, in his turn, would promptly ignore it completely and allowed it to escape. 

Both were the mascots of a Bofors Gun Team in the Royal Air Force Regiment. Preedy has been described as a 'beautiful pet' who had made herself quite at home with the Regiment in her time with them; she accompanied anyone who went on duty, day or night. But when the team received its marching orders for a different position and typical of most cats, Preedy was having second thoughts about joining them, seems she had taken a liking to where she was. After escaping six times from the luggage truck and ending up in a box the seventh time, one of the personal opened the box to check on her. Her moment came and she seized the moment; shooting out like flashpoint lightening, never to be recovered.Though I think we can all assume that she found herself another home that was happy to have her. She seemed to have the tenacity for it.

Then there's the tale of Wallad, a native of Syria. A handsome male with beautiful markings he belonged to a New Zealander, one George McAllister. Turns out that Wallad presented himself as a quite proper dandy and as such was desperately lazy, pooh-poohing the very notion of hunting. 12th October 1942 with the assistance and cheering of a boisterous crowd of troopers, Wallad captured his very first mouse. However, there were moments during the chase when Wallad was manifestly circumspect about coming to grips with his quarry; the minute his enfeebled victim was writhing in his paws, he unhesitatingly curled up and went back to sleep. One can only assume the little mouse was unharmed by his harrowing ordeal, waited his chance, then dashed for Freedom!


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