Celebrate International Cat Day 2023 – 10 Famous Cats that made History

Every year on the 8th August, cat lovers worldwide come together to commemorate International Cat Day, a heart-warming celebration dedicated to the cherished bond between humans and their feline companions. In this month’s blog, I am excited to highlight ten historical cats whose stories have left a lasting impression on the world, showcasing the extraordinary impact these furry friends can have.

And what better way to honour our beloved kitties than with a curated collection of exquisite cat-themed sterling silver jewellery? Each piece in my jewellery collection adds a touch of whimsy and charm, celebrating the magic of cats. 


So, without further ado, let’s delve into the captivating stories of some of the most renowned felines in our history books!

1. Tama, Kishi’s beloved stationmaster

Tama, the Calico Cat​ stationmaster of Kishi Station in Japan

Tama, the calico cat, and stationmaster of Kishi Station in Japan, was a beloved feline that had captured the hearts of many in her small town. With her striking tri-coloured fur and endearing personality, she had become somewhat of a local celebrity. Tama’s charming presence extended beyond her physical appearance – she was known for her friendly and sociable nature. Often spotted greeting commuters at the nearby Kishi train station, she had earned the honorary title of ‘stationmaster’. Passengers eagerly awaited her daily appearance, and her presence brought smiles to the faces of countless weary travellers. Tama’s extraordinary ability to brighten even the most mundane of commutes had turned her into a symbol of joy, unity, and the simple pleasures of life, making her not just a cat; but a treasured member of the community.

Tama enjoyed the simple pleasures of napping in the sun, chasing butterflies in the park, and cuddling up with her adoring human companions. The tale of Tama, the stationmaster cat, even inspired children’s books, art, and memorabilia, solidifying her place in the town’s history. Her story was a testament to the extraordinary impact that a little love and kindness from an unexpected source could have on the lives of many, transcending barriers and touching hearts worldwide.

2. Trim, the adventurous and loyal companion of the explorer Matthew Flinders

Trim, the famous black cat, holds a special place in history as the adventurous and loyal companion of the renowned explorer Matthew Flinders. Image of Plaque

Trim, the renowned maritime black and white cat and treasured sidekick of Captain Matthew Flinders, holds a unique place in the chronicles of seafaring felines. Throughout the early 19th century, Trim accompanied Flinders on his explorations and mapping of Australia, serving as a faithful and fearless companion during their maritime adventures. Trim’s presence on board the ship, HMAS Investigator, brought comfort and camaraderie to the crew, and his charm won the hearts of all who encountered him. Notably intelligent and nimble, Trim earned a reputation for his ability to navigate the treacherous deck and rigging with ease.

His presence provided a sense of companionship during the long and challenging voyages, making him an inseparable part of Flinders’ exploration team. Today, Trim’s memory lives on through various accounts and literature, immortalising him as an extraordinary cat who left a lasting pawprint on the annals of exploration history.

3. Larry, Chief Mouser at 10 Downing Street

Larry, Chief Mouser at 10 Downing Street

Larry, Chief Mouser outside 10 Downing Street London, July 10, 2019 (AFP)

Meet Larry, the esteemed Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, another feline legend. His entrance into the spotlight was back in 2011, when he graced 10 Downing Street, having been rescued from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in London. Since then, Larry has lived an illustrious career, serving under three Prime Ministers and mingling with prominent world leaders. With his distinctive tabby-and-white coat and a no-nonsense demeanour, he has become one of the most recognisable cats not just in the UK but globally.

Perhaps what sets Larry apart is his significant political and media presence. He has been photographed in numerous encounters with key figures, like Barack Obama, and he often ‘briefs’ the press, courtesy of his own parody Twitter account. He has also had his fair share of scuffles, most notably with Palmerston, the Foreign Office cat, making national headlines. While Larry’s hunting prowess has been a subject of some controversy, his role in bringing joy and stress relief to 10 Downing Street is undeniable. He represents a piece of living history, offering a more light-hearted side of politics to the world.

4. Oscar, the extraordinary therapy cat

Oscar the therapy cat lived at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island. He gained fame for his unique ability to sense when residents were nearing the end of their lives, often staying by their side in their final moments, providing them with comfort and companionship.

This extraordinary feline has become a beacon of compassion and support at a nursing home, where he has been serving as a therapy animal for years. With his intuitive nature and gentle demeanour, Oscar has a remarkable ability to sense when someone is feeling down or in distress. He would then make his way to their side, offering soothing purrs and affectionate nudges, providing a profound sense of emotional healing to the residents.

Oscar’s presence has proven to be a true source of joy and companionship, brightening the days of both the elderly residents and the dedicated staff at the facility. His unconditional love and intuitive nature have earned him a special place in the hearts of many, making Oscar an extraordinary example of the positive impact animals can have in the realm of mental and emotional well-being.

5. Stubbs, honorary mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska

Talkeetna Alaska, honorary mayor Stubbs

Nagleys Store, Alaska (image: Jimmy Emerson, DVM)

Stubbs the Alaskan cat, a true icon of local politics and beloved figure in the town of Talkeetna, Alaska, has captured the hearts of residents and visitors alike. In an extraordinary turn of events, Stubbs became the honorary ‘mayor’ of Talkeetna, winning the affectionate title due to his unofficial role as the town’s ambassador.

Originally a stray, Stubbs was adopted by the local Nagley’s General Store, where he quickly became a permanent fixture and favorite among patrons. With his charismatic personality and friendly demeanor, Stubbs became a symbol of the town’s unique and quirky charm. Although he lacked formal political duties, his presence at the store and participation in town events brought joy and a sense of unity to the community.

His story has garnered international attention, making Stubbs an endearing and unforgettable feline personality and a testament to the extraordinary bonds that can form between animals and the communities they call home.

6. Maru, the Scottish Fold cat

Maru, dubbed as the “funniest cat on the planet”.

Maru, the Scottish Fold cat (image: http://sisinmaru.blog17.fc2.com/)

Maru, the lovable Scottish Fold cat, has taken the internet by storm with his irresistible charm and playful spirit. Hailing from Japan, Maru has become a global sensation, captivating millions with his adorable antics showcased on his YouTube channel. Known for his fascination with boxes of all shapes and sizes, Maru never fails to bring a smile to his audience’s faces as he effortlessly squeezes himself into even the tiniest containers or leaps into larger ones with boundless enthusiasm.

His endearing curiosity and joyful demeanor have won the hearts of viewers worldwide, making him one of the most beloved internet cat celebrities. With a loyal fan base and millions of views, Maru’s irresistible charm continues to remind us of the simple pleasures of life and the undeniable allure of feline curiosity.

7. Bob, the Street Cat

Bob the Street Cat high-fives his official biographer James Bowen

In the heartwarming book based on a true story ‘A Street Cat Named Bob,’ readers are introduced to the unforgettable and endearing feline companion, Bob. A stray ginger cat who crossed paths with James Bowen, a struggling street musician in London, Bob’s presence proved to be nothing short of transformative.

The book chronicles the extraordinary journey of their unbreakable bond and the profound impact Bob had on James’s life. With his charming personality and fierce loyalty, Bob became more than just a cat; he became a source of hope and inspiration for James as he battled addiction and homelessness.

Through the highs and lows, Bob’s unwavering support and affection brought joy and purpose to James’s life, guiding him towards a path of redemption and recovery. ‘A Street Cat Named Bob’ is a poignant testament to the unbreakable connection between animals and humans, reminding us of the profound and healing power that our four-legged friends can bring into our lives.

8. Orangery Minerva, Hollywood’s feline star

Orangey Minerva, the renowned male feline star of Hollywood’s golden era, solidified his place in history with his unforgettable role as ‘Cat’ in the classic film ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, Born in the late 1950s, Orangey Minerva was affectionately known as ‘Orangey,’ but he is best remembered by the character he portrayed on the silver screen. With his striking orange fur and captivating green eyes, he captured the hearts of audiences worldwide and became one of the most adored animal actors of his time.

‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, released in 1961, catapulted Orangey Minerva to stardom, and he quickly became a symbol of elegance and sophistication. His scenes alongside Audrey Hepburn’s character, Holly Golightly, were nothing short of enchanting, and his expressive antics added an element of charm and humor to the film. Orangey’s exceptional performance earned him the prestigious Patsy Award, the animal kingdom’s equivalent of an Oscar, forever solidifying his status as an unparalleled male feline talent in Hollywood history.

9. Lil BUB

Lil Bub, officially Lil BUB, was an American celebrity cat known for her unique physical appearance. Her photos were first posted to Tumblr in November 2011, before being taken off after being featured on the social news website Reddit.

Lil’ Bub (image: Emmy McNeely/WTIU)

Lil BUB, the enchanting and unique cat, captured the hearts of millions with her captivating appearance and heart-warming story. Born with several genetic anomalies, including dwarfism and an underdeveloped jaw, Lil BUB’s distinct appearance set her apart as a truly one-of-a-kind feline. Her tiny size and tongue that permanently stuck out added to her charm, making her an instant internet sensation.

As her fame grew, so did her mission to spread joy and advocate for animal welfare. Lil BUB used her celebrity status to raise awareness and funds for special needs pets and animal rescues. She became an ambassador for compassion and acceptance, proving that even the most unconventional beings could touch the lives of many.

Despite her passing in 2019, Lil BUB’s legacy lives on as a symbol of resilience, kindness, and the power of love to inspire positive change. Her impact on the world of cat lovers and animal enthusiasts will forever be etched in their hearts, making her a true icon of feline wonder and compassion.

10. Zarathustra, poster child of ‘FatCatArt’

Zarathustra, poster child of 'FatCatArt'

Michelangelo’s ‘The Creation of Adam’, Svetlana Petrova & Zarathustra the Cat

Last, but by no means least I would like to introduce you to Zarathustra, a glorious and well-fed feline. He certainly deserves a place in our list of 10 cats that made history. This plump and majestic Russian orange tabby is not just an ordinary housecat but the central muse for an entire genre of art, aptly termed ‘Fat Cat Art.’

Born in 2003, Zarathustra was adopted by Russian artist Svetlana Petrova after her mother’s demise, but little did she know that this adoption would lead to an artistic revolution.

This cherubic ball of fur inspired Petrova to embark on a project where she ingeniously integrated Zarathustra’s image into famous works of art, from the likes of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to Michelangelo’s ‘The Creation of Adam’, and in dozens of other famous artworks, thereby creating a whimsical blend of classic and contemporary art. Zarathustra, in all his plump glory, has become a worldwide sensation, charming millions with his appealing charisma. Zarathustra’s influence has grown to such an extent that he even has a book titled ‘Fat Cat Art: Famous Masterpieces Improved by a Ginger Cat with Attitude’ published in his honour. The beloved feline has since garnered a massive following on social media platforms around the world, reinforcing his legacy as one of the most endearing cats in contemporary popular culture.

On this International Cat Day, as we celebrate our feline companions and their undeniable impact on our lives, let us remember the famous cats from history who have left an indelible pawprint on our hearts.

From Tama, the stationmaster cat who brought joy to commuters in Japan, to Trim, the adventurous companion of Captain Matthew Flinders during his explorations, and from Lil BUB, the inspirational advocate for animal welfare, to Zarathustra, the poster child of the ‘Fat Cat Project’, these famous cats have shown us the incredible bond between humans and their furry friends.

As we honour these iconic cats, let us also take a moment to appreciate the special cats in our own lives. Whether they are famous around the world or simply the stars of our homes, our cats bring us love, joy, and comfort each day.

This August (and every other month of the year!) let’s shower our feline friends with affection, treats, and playtime, as a token of appreciation for the endless happiness they bring us. Together, let’s celebrate the magic of cats and cherish the timeless bond we share with these remarkable creatures.

Happy International Cat Day everyone!

Love (& purrs),

Thanks for reading…

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