Cats can be pretty flighty; dogs chase them, they run away from loud noises, and what’s their deal with cucumbers? It’s not surprising that you might mistake them for cowards, but you’d be wrong. These unflappable felines have claws, and they know how to use them.
10. The Protector
You’ve heard of guard dogs, but what about a guard cat? That’s the role that a feline called Nani stepped into on June 22, 2015. As if that’s not impressive enough, you should see the intruder that she repelled from her home in Eagle River, Alaska. In the resulting footage, a large black bear peers through the glass screen door at Nani.
Far from being intimidated, though, Nani flings herself at the glass without so much as a warning. “We were all really surprised that she lunged at [the bear],” Nani’s owner Darlis Elliott subsequently told Earth Porm. “But we were more surprised that it scared him enough to fall off the porch.”
9. The Fire Alarm
In September 2014 a rescue cat called Sally literally had a rude awakening for her owner. The man in question – Craig Jeeves, from Melbourne, Australia – described the events to Love Meow a couple of months later. “She was standing on my head screaming, the loudest scream I’ve ever heard from a cat,” he said.
Jeeves smelt smoke and realized there was a fire in the house. He consequently fled the blazing property, which burnt to the ground. Jeeves suffered from smoke inhalation, but thanks to Sally, they both escaped with their lives.
8. The War Hero
In March 1948 a young sailor found a malnourished cat on the streets of Hong Kong. That seaman was George Hickinbottom, a crewman on the British frigate HMS Amethyst, and he smuggled the cat aboard. The animal, whom Hickinbottom named Simon, proved to be an excellent rat-catcher.
Simon was also among the casualties incurred when Chinese artillery attacked the HMS Amethyst. Despite taking four shrapnel wounds, though, Simon survived. In addition, the British later presented him with numerous medals.
The cat’s honors included the Amethyst campaign medal, the Blue Cross medal and the Dickin medal. Simon was also distinguished with the whimsical title, “Able Seacat.” However, he tragically succumbed to an infection caused by his battle scars in November 1949. The cat’s gravestone reads, “His behavior was of the highest order.”
7. The Bear Scarer
It would seem that cats just don’t like bears! In April 2012 an unidentified photographer filmed a group of black bears loitering close to their property. In the footage, one of the bears then spots a cat on the porch and unwisely decides to investigate.
The bear has a sniff of the cat, who doesn’t take kindly to the unwanted guest. Initially, it just yowls a loud warning at the bear and feigns a claw swipe in its direction. The bear backpedals but hasn’t learned its lesson yet. Only when the cat bats the bear’s snout does it turn around and run.
6. The Slope Shredder
If there’s one cat who just isn’t satisfied with a long sleep in front of a roaring fire, it’s Weston. Far from living the sedate life you that assume of cats, Weston is into extreme sports. For instance, he often accompanies his owner, Jesse Smith, on high-octane mountain sled adventures.
Weston happily sits on Smith’s shoulders without a care in the world as the scenery hurtles by at top speeds. Furthermore, his fur-sister Ellinore has the same devil-may-care attitude. They both love reaching new heights – sometimes literally – while laughing at their scared human minions.
5. The Snake Charmer
On April 24, 2017, Texan law enforcement officers warned the public about the end of snake hibernation season. The announcement came after a hiking group’s close encounter with a particularly large rattlesnake. To one cat, however, snakes are just thick pieces of string that wiggle themselves.
The Laguna Vista Police Department (LVPD) posted a photo on Facebook of the cat facing off against a large rattler. The feline is unflinching in the face of the angry snake as it rears up disturbingly close to the unflustered cat. As a result, the LVPD named it the “Fearless Laguna Vista Cat.”
4. The Gator Wrangler
Move over gators, there’s a bigger badass in the bayou, and his name is Mugsy. This courageous cat shot to fame when he apparently saved a little boy from not one but two alligators. Mugsy loves his human servants, and he doesn’t like walking handbags touching his stuff.
Recorded footage shows how the ferocious cat stands between a boy and a gator, staring his opponent into submission. When the gator returns with reinforcements, Mugsy, swipes it in the face with his paw, causing a second retreat. The cat then nonchalantly returns to the boy for some affection.
3. The Air Raid Siren
During the London Blitz in 1936 a stray cat found its way into St. Augustine’s Church and out of the cold. When the church’s rector, Father Henry Ross, found out, he took pity on her. As a result, he let her stay as a “church cat.” He also gave her a name: Faith.
Faith later gave birth to a kitten named Panda, and one day Ross observed her carrying the baby into the basement. Despite Ross retrieving the kitten three times, Faith kept repeating the routine. An air raid siren sounded the very next night, prompting Ross to seek shelter.
The heavy bombings that night claimed many casualties, and Ross returned the next morning to find the church ablaze. After some searching, he also found something else: Faith and Panda, alive and well, the mother cat shielding her kitten from flaming debris. Ross would later describe Faith as “the bravest cat in the world.”
2. The Warrior Princess
In the battle between dog and cat, you’d give the edge to the dog, right? Well, not always, as Xena the Ukrainian cat proved. Living up to her warrior princess namesake, Xena battled a dog named Toto in 2018. And the clash was caught on video.
After a tense staring match, Toto charges Xena, who simply watches him approach. But when Toto’s in range, Xena counterattacks by leaping on his face. Grasping his head in her paws, Xena flips over, rolling the dog with her like a judo master, and then chases Toto away.
1. The Hero Cat of California
For anyone who thinks that cats can’t be just as faithful companions as dogs, here’s something to change your mind. In May 2011 a neighborhood Labrador-Chow dog attacked four-year-old Californian boy Jeremy Triantafilo. It grabbed his leg, in fact, and dragged the child down his driveway, shaking him as it went.
CCTV cameras recorded the event and show how Jeremy’s cat, Tara, charges the dog from out of nowhere. She slams into the attacker who takes off running immediately with Tara hot on his heels. When the dog’s gone, the cat returns – seemingly to check on Jeremy. He subsequently needed ten stitches, but Tara potentially saved his life.