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The First Cat To Win Decorations For Courage


Cats can be very brave, and there are many stories of instances when they have awakened people to warn of fire, or leaking gas, or floods. They are particularly courageous when they have kittens, and if danger threatens they will never leave their kittens and go to the greatest lengths to get them to a safe place.

The following story is about the first cat to ever receive decorations for courage.

One of the most famous cats was one who lived through the London air raids of the Second World War, a small female tabby and white called Faith. She had walked into St Augustine's Church, in Watling Street as a stray kitten, and as she was never claimed and would not leave, the Rector took her to live in the Rectory house adjoining the Church.

In September 1940, Faith had a black and white kitten called Panda, and the two of them were comfortably installed on the top floor of the Rectory house. Later that month, however, the cat became restless and agitated and went on a tour of inspection of the rest of the house, eventually taking the kitten out of the basket and installing it in a room three floors below at the other side of the house.

When the Rector found the empty basket he searched for the cats and took them upstairs. Faith at once seized the kitten and took it downstairs again. The Rector took the kitten upstairs four times and then gave up the struggle.

Three nights later the blitz began and a bomb went through the roof of the Rectory House, which blazed and crumbled. The Rector returned to find his house a mass of burning ruins, but in spite of firemen saying it was hopeless he started to search for the cat.

He called Faith several times, never expecting an answer, but to his relief he heard a faint cry from the smouldering ruins in answer. Peering down he saw the brave little cat sitting there entirely hemmed in by rubble. She was serene and unafraid, and had the kitten between her paws. He hacked a passage out of the debris and then coaxed the cat and her kitten out. Both were begrimed but unhurt.

Faith was taken to the Church vestry just before the whole Church house collapsed in ruins. There she stayed and calmly settled down with Panda her kitten, knowing they were safe, which indeed they were, as the Church was not hit. Faith was the first cat to win decorations for the courage she showed during that dark time in history.

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