The Royal Navy recently awarded Simon the Cat the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. That’s because in 1949, Simon the Cat was on board the¬†warship HMS Amethyst when it came under fire from Chinese Communist forces during a 101 day siege.

Despite being badly wounded by shrapnel when the Amethyst was targeted, the courageous cat protected food stores from an infestation of rats, helping to keep the surviving crew members alive. While other animals have been given awards, Simon is the only cat to receive such an award.

PDSA director general, Jan McLoughlin said: “There is no doubt that Simon was a very special cat, and a much-loved and respected crew member on HMS Amethyst.¬†The fact that Simon’s name and story live on 65 years after the Yangtze incident is testament to his bravery and devotion to duty.”

To read more about Simon the war hero cat, click here.