Simon – the only cat to date to receive the PDSA Dickin Medal - received it posthumously in 1949. “Simon served on HMS Amethyst during the Yangtze Incident, disposing of many rats though wounded by shell blast. Throughout the incident his behaviour was of the highest order, although the blast was capable of making a hole over a foot in diameter in a steel plate.”Picture: PDSA
Simon was the ship’s cat who served on the Royal Navy sloop HMS Amethyst. In 1949, during the Yangtze Incident, he received the PDSA’s Dickin Medal after surviving injuries from a cannon shell, raising morale, and killing off a rat infestation during his service.
Able Seacat Simon of the Royal Navy’s HMS Amethyst began his career in 1948 as the Amethyst’s formal ratter, put on board to protect the food stores. Simon performed his duties so well that he was bestowed two awards in 1949, including the Dickin Medal for animal gallantry. Simon is the only cat to have received the Dickin Medal, and when he died, he was buried with full naval honors.
Simon's resting place at the PDSA Animal Cemetery in Ilford. His gravestone reads: IN MEMORY OF "SIMON" SERVED IN H.M.S. AMETHYST MAY 1948 — NOVEMBER 1949 AWARDED DICKIN MEDAL AUGUST 1949 DIED 28TH NOVEMBER 1949. THROUGHOUT THE YANGTZE INCIDENT HIS BEHAVIOUR WAS OF THE HIGHEST ORDER
Undercover cat: Fred was a Brooklyn stray before he helped investigators bust a college student posing as a veterinarian last year. Robert Reid had suspicions about Steven Vassall when the fake vet treated his dog, so he contacted the Brooklyn Distict Attorney’s office. Assistant DA Carol Moran took Fred from Animal Control and deputized him for an investigation. When Vassall agreed to neuter Fred for $135, he was promptly arrested. Fred became a media sensation for his part in the sting…