Cats have been constant companions to soldiers in wartime, but only Simon the cat has ever received the Royal Navy Dickin Medal for gallantry during wartime. Simon was discovered in March 1948 poking around the docks of Stonecutters Island in Hong Kong. Since rodents had infested the ship, seventeen-year-old Seaman George Hickinbottom decided a cat was just what the ship needed to get rid of its rats. George smuggled Simon the HMS Amethyst, and Simon became the unofficial mouser for the ship.

Then war broke out between the communists and nationalists along the Yangtze River. The ship was hit and the captain killed. Simon was wounded and while recovering from his wounds, helped cheer up the other wounded sailors.

To escape the fighting, the ship made a run for it and got away. The British press hailed the ship and its sailors as heroes, including Simon the cat, who was awarded the Dickin Medal for gallantry. So remember, cats can be just as brave and loyal as any other animal and Simon has a medal to prove it.

To read more about the bravery of Simon the cat, click here.