16 Lionhearted Cats Who Were Drafted For WWI Duty. WOW, #6 Shocked Me. So Brave…

Repurrting for duty! After seeing these photos, you won’t think cats are just house pets who laze around all day. No sirree. During World War I, cats were often found in trenches, on ships, and right in the middle of the action, doing their part to encourage and look after the soldiers who protected our freedom.

Cats had to qualify based on their characteristics, as their important duties included being a good mouser, keeping away irritating rodents away from the troop’s vital supply of rations. They also had to be lovable, as many were adopted as pet mascots for their proud units. These feline friends gave soldiers invaluable comfort in their heroic duties on the field.

And, of course, being super adorable helped.

1. A Canadian soldier posing with his unit’s mascot, Tabby.

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IWM

2. Company O’Conner Men stand for a picture with their cat.

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Australian War Memorial

3. This daring cat goes for a stroll on the barrel of a 15-inch gun on the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

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Bibliotheque nationale de France

4. The furry mascot of the HMS Dreadnought, Togo.

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IWM

5. A couple of Scottish soldiers in the 9th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, play with their pet cat, Martinpuich.

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IWM

6. The HMS Encounter’s ship cat. 

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Wikipedia

7. A French gunner in the trenches with his regimental cat. 

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IWM

8. This little cutie was luckily discovered in the ruins of Le Cateau-Cambrésis by officers of the U.S. 2nd Army Corps.

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Pictorial Record of the 27th Division

9. Pincer, the proud mascot of the HMS Vindex, perches on the propeller of one of the sea planes carried via ship. 

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Wikipedia

10. Spark Plug, this company’s mascot, is probably giving his fellow solider sound advice on the propeller. 

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Library of Congress

 11. Two cats cuddling up in the breech of a 4-inch caliber gun on an American ship.

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U.S. Naval Institute

12. A friendly mascot hanging out with a fellow soldier in a sandbag dugout. 

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Australian War Memorial

13. A soldier holding his furry feline for a studio portrait. 

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Australian War Memorial

14. The mascot of the Royal Australian Navy Destroyer HMAS Swan, Ching, shakes hands with a sailor. 

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Australian War Memorial

15. A sailor from the HMAS Melbourne holds the ship’s two cats. 

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Australian War Memorial

16. A British soldier forms a pact with his favorite mascot. 

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Illustrated War News

[Credit via iO9.]

And you thought cats were only good for silly Internet videos. If you enjoyed this story, SHARE these heroic cats with your friends online!

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