Simon, our featured feline Purr 'n' Fur Famous Felines

Articles in Famous Felines are written by
Patrick Roberts

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Famous Felines

[ Table of Contents ]

As the name suggests, this section tells the stories of a number of cats that for one reason or another have become well known to the wider world. Not all are contemporary; they range from the eighteenth century, with Samuel Johnson's cat Hodge, to the present day with White House cat Socks, and library cat Dewey, who were with us until fairly recently — and there is Nora who's still very much alive. By virtue of their remarkable characters, unusual adventures or both, we feel these felines deserve the description 'famous'.

Shorter tales about other noted cats — a number of them contemporary — whose exploits are less widely known, but we thought still worthy of recording, can be found in the separate Featuring Felines pages.


Simon of HMS Amethyst
Dickin Medal recipient for his gallantry under enemy fire

with these associated pages...

The Quest for Simon
An account of my research into his story, with further pictures
Tributes to Simon
A selection of tributes sent in by his fans as his fame spread
Lt Cdr Ian Griffiths, his Career and his Cats
Simon's first captain, with previously unseen photos of the 'young Simon'

Socks Clinton
Former First Cat at the White House – and other presidential felines

No. 10 Downing Street Cats
(current resident Larry – and predecessors Sybil, Humphrey, Wilberforce and others)
and other British Government cats

Street Cat Bob and James Bowen
The story of the injured and homeless cat who befriended a recovering heroin addict
and changed his life is now a worldwide bestseller

Courageous London church cat of WW2, awarded a PDSA Silver Medal
[ more stories of church cats in Featuring Felines ]

Mrs Chippy
who sailed with Shackleton to the Antarctic in the Endurance

Dewey Readmore Books
America's most famous library cat: the book written about him was a runaway success
[ accounts of many more library cats in the Featuring Felines section ]

and also

Antarctic Cats
Other felines (apart from Mrs Chippy above) who went to the frozen south
with exploration expeditions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

Post-WW2 Antarctic Cats
Felines at research bases in Antarctica
a separate account by Robert Burton of his base companion

Colin's Cat
New Zealand tanker terminal cat who took an unscheduled 10,000 km voyage
on a methanol tanker bound for South Korea, a story which made international news

Félicette the space cat
... and Félix, who didn't exist

Hamish McHamish
Well known cat-about-town at St Andrews in Scotland, who had a statue erected to him in his lifetime

Samuel Johnson's treasured companion who loved oysters

Kiddo was the first cat to travel by airship, during a bid to cross the Atlantic

Mike and Black Jack
Cats of the British Museum, London

Celebrity piano player and internet sensation

The cat(s) at the British Home Office

Room 8
In the 1950s/60s this long-lived Californian school cat with an unlikely name was described
as 'arguably the most famous cat in America', and he is still actively remembered today

Blaze heroine from NYC, who died in Oct 2008

Towser and Barley
Scotch-whisky distillery cats, one a record mouser

Faithful travelling companion of explorer Matthew Flinders, Trim sailed
around the world and circumnavigated Australia

Check out
Featuring Felines
for more real-life stories of less well known cats

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Featuring Felines
Fans of Felines
Fabled Felines
Feline Folios
Feline Fun
Feline Philately
Feline Fragments
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Our featured feline — your companion through the Famous Felines section is Simon of HMS Amethyst.
Simon (see head of the page) remains the only cat ever to have been awarded the Dickin Medal for gallantry under enemy fire, in what became known as the 'Yangtse Incident'. Follow the links in the contents list above to read his story, and (in a separate article) my experiences while researching it.

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Page created November 2003, with later additions