Cats view World War II differently than humans do. Several books on the subject of feline heroism have been written by cats, including Saving Private Mittens and Band of Pussies. One problem in highlighting the heroic actions of WWII cats is that most who fought in WWII are either in Veterinarian Homes or were put to sleep decades ago. Some have managed to pass down their stories over several litters using the oral tradition of tongue-to-fur storytelling. Their stories have become a little confused, but using new FurSpeak® technology, I’ve taken the time to decipher and catalogue the compelling and inspirational stories of the 351st Fighting Felines so that everyone can appreciate the greatest generation of pussies.
The 351st Fighting Felines
The 351st Fighting Felines were the toughest rag-tag squadron of mousers you ever saw. Led by Col. Tomcat Gizmo (a mixed race Tabby), the swashbuckling 351st cleared the entire Ardennes Forest of mice so our GIs didn’t have to worry about knapsack pilfering during their march into Germany. Parachuting in under cover of darkness the 351st were chosen for the mission because, no matter how tricky the maneuver, they always landed on their feet. This pride of cats would claw their way to hell and back for Gizmo. They’d follow him to the ends of the Earth, or to wherever he shined that little red dot. Oh how they loved that little red dot. Once, while the 351st were securing the perimeter in Bastogne, they were shut into a closet and began suffering from diarrhea, prompting Gizmo’s famous remark, “Just remember troops, when one door closes, another one opens.”
Gen. Eisenhower realized his error in allowing the 351st to storm the beaches of Normandy on D-Day June 6th 1944. Put it this way; you don’t get much production from a squadron of well-fed cats that have been cooped up in amphibious assault boats for a couple of hours. Because once they crossed the English Channel and hit those acres of sandy beaches, the giant seaside sandbox proved too much temptation for the 351st. They forgot all about the mission and began doing their duty. The wrong kind of duty. All over Omaha Beach. The poor slobs never stood a chance against the German Katzis safely ensconced in their pillboxes equipped with machine guns. As the guns started firing, the fur started flying and when 4077th Veterinarians MASH Unit asked if they were hurt all the kitties could say was, “Me. Ow!” Well at least the 351st died with their paws on. They also left plenty of “land mines” for our GIs to step in when they stormed the beach moments later. If only Army Intelligence had invented “clumping” litter earlier our troops wouldn’t have been knee deep in it later.
The 351st came from all walks of life. Some were neutered. Some spayed. But under the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy nobody knew. Of course when Lt. Puss-n-Boots went into heat everyone on the base pretty much figured she wasn’t spayed. Hygiene was never a problem for the 351st. They all licked each other clean – whether they were dirty or not. It was a lot like France that way.
Not all cats were patriotically oriented. Some pussies dodged the draft all together and hid away in a dark corner of the closet known as Canada. Now those were the real pussies. But for those valiant little kitties that heeded the call to claws and abandoned their scratching posts to serve in the 351st Fighting Felines or the 82nd Screaming Mimi’s, we salute you. It was from your sacrifice in giving up those precious 23 hours of sleep per day that has kept this land safe for democracy. Wherever our country needed paws on the ground, it was your willingness to go wherever the little red light takes you that warms the hearts of cat fanciers and patriots everywhere.