Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tabbies in the trenches

While they didn't have as prominent a place in World War I as dogs and horses, cats served admirably in the ranks. Some half a million did their duty in the trenches and onboard ships. Proverbially difficult to herd, the cats were given the run of their area and kept it free of the mice and rats that would eat provisions, chew through ropes, and spread disease. In addition to their "official" duties – which in some cases included being gas detectors – the cats were embraced as mascots. The soldiers and sailors of America, Canada, Britain, Belgium, France, and Australia gave them nicknames like Togo, Spark Plug, Ching, Pincher, and the famous Pitouchi (IMAGES HERE).

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