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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Friday, February 18, 2011

cat space

I wouldn't think cats had patience for going into space (though they have had their place in aviation history). However, in October 1963 the French sent a cat up in a rocket from their base in the Algerian Sahara. Depending on where you read the history, the catonaut was either a black-and-white street fellow named Felix, or a girl cat named Felicette. It seems Felix may have taken a powder or just didn't have the right stuff at the last minute.

Whichever explorer it was, cat and rocket went about 130 miles into space, and then after 15 minutes the capsule fell away and the pod was retrieved, kitty safe and probably beside itself inside. Unfortunately, a second attempt a week later did not go so well, and that cat did not survive.

This whole thing of sending animals into space was always distasteful to me. The purpose was to test the effect of such adventure on vertebrates without risking human beings, and I suppose that's appropriate, but I just never liked the idea. (Let's face it, don't most of us have a short list of people they could have experimented with instead?)

Here's a good link about this little piece of space history, with source links to look over. Felix made it to a stamp. Not much consolation to Felix I bet.


Everycat said...

Cats, dogs, snakes, apes, spiders, insects all hurled into space. Bad, bad humans.

Hope you are well Curator! :)

Mr W Wuudler

Katnip Lounge said...

We sincerly hope SpaceCat was the first feline to whizz in space...all over the capsule!
Mommy also has a short list...

Winnie said...

The way I carry on when I see one - you would think I would like to see ALL cats sent into space.

But I don't.

I find the idea of sending animals who don't have a choice into space horrid. They must have been so scared.

Besides, if all the cats were in space I'd have nothing to bark at - except squirrels and they're not as much fun.

(The Lady Of the House says some days she has a looooong list....)

Cate said...

Oh gosh so scary for the animals! The thought of it makes me shudder and can't understand the people that actually put the animals through it :(

curator said...

I am so glad to see Mr. Whuudler again! And also glad to find like-minded souls on this subject.

sagechronicles said...

Not good, but unfortunately our furry furiends of all species have been used for all sorts of "tests". I can't imagine the fear this poor kitty endured.

Catmama said...

A short list?....

Animal testing of any variety - no no no.