The Dickin Medal is awarded in the United Kingdom and "acknowledges outstanding acts of bravery displayed by animals serving with the Armed Forces or Civil Defence units in any theatre of war, worldwide." It has been awarded to one cat, three horses, twenty-eight dogs, and thirty-two pigeons.
A bizarre and charming vintage photo of a German soldier with a kitten. And a whole big bunch of Russian military cat photos (Russian captions, natch). Sailors love kitties, I'm telling you.
Astronomer Edwin Hubble's favorite cat was named Nicholas Copernicus. Read about their relationship.
Felix the Cat, the first big animal balloon in the Macy's Parade, 1927.
A long read but worthy: Adam Gopnik muses on how the dog became out master in this New Yorker essay.