- Four-legged guards 5. In memory of a devoted friend
- He had several lives 6. A long way home
- A trip to the sky 7. The first pet with a name
- A bilingual animal 8. Doing more than was expected
A. Barry worked as a rescue dog in the mountains of Switzerland. Barry saved at least 40 people who got lost in the Alps during heavy snow. Once Barry discovered a child and started barking loudly for the monks to find them (which he was trained to do). The monks couldn’t climb the cliff and the dog carried the boy all the way down the mountain (which he was not trained to do).
B. The powerful ancient horse Bucephalus carried Alexander the Great into many victories. Bucephalus’ head looked like a bull’s head. That is where Bucephalus got his name; it means ‘ox’s head’ in ancient Greek. When Bucephalus died, Alexander founded an entire city in his honour and named it Bucephala. This city is in modern-day Pakistan.
C. Long ago and far away lived a pet cat. He was the pet cat of Pharaoh Thutmose III. This cat got the name of Nedjem. While it was an honour to be the friend of a Pharaoh, this cat had a greater honour yet. He is the world’s earliest pet cat on record with his own proper name. Before Nedjem, history records that cats were just called ‘cats’.
D. St Petersburg’s State Hermitage Museum is one of the largest and most reputable museums in the world. Few visitors, however, know what lies beneath its magnificent halls. There, dozens of Hermitage cats protect the museum’s collection from mice and rats. The history of the cats dates back to the tsar, Peter the Great, who brought the first cat to the Winter Palace on his return from a trip to Holland. Later, the palace cats received official status.
E. In 1923, Bobbie, a two year-old Scotch Collie, travelled with his family from Oregon to Indiana, USA. Unfortunately, during the vacation, Bobbie got lost. Six months later, in February of 1924, Bobbie appeared on the doorstep of his home. He was extremely skinny, dirty, and weak. Bobbie had walked 4,105 km across the United States to return home. His story quickly spread around the country and the dog was featured in newspaper articles, books, and films.
F. Pope Leo X received a white elephant, named Hanno, as a gift on his coronation from the King of Portugal. Hanno was well trained and extremely intelligent, able to understand and obey orders given to him in both Indian and Portuguese. Hanno quickly became the Pope’s favorite pet; and he was paraded during the most important ceremonies in Rome.
G. When the warship, Bismark, sank in 1941, Sam the cat was the only survivor picked up by the British battleship the HMS Cossack. However, the same year the HMS Cossack was damaged by a torpedo and sank. The cat again survived this shipwreck. He had earned his fame as Unsinkable Sam, and started to live on the HMS Ark Royal, which was also torpedoed. Luckily, the crew members were safe, and Sam was found, floating on a plank in an ‘angry but unharmed’ condition. After that, Sam stayed away from ships and died peacefully in 1955.