During World War I, the humans had some really dumb ideas. The first was to go to war with every buddy. Then they tried to hide their group of every buddies in the ground, in trenches. When no one was looking, one group of every buddies would sneak out and try to kill the other every buddies. It was a mess. A muddy mess that got even worse when the rats showed up. Luckily, the Cat Calvary arrived in the nick of time. The British government employed 500,000 kitties for just that job.
But even with the cats around to cheer them up and keep the trenches rat-free, life was hard for the humans. Nothing much to do except get shot at for leaving the trench or shoot at anything that moved outside of the trench. Really kind of dull. One day, in 1915, a soldier named Guillaume Luchaire realized he needed to get out of his trench to send a letter to another soldier. This other soldier was his brother-in-law and Guillaume had some good news from his sister – she had just had a human kitten! Guillaume knew his brother-in-law didn’t know that he had become a Daddy. Only problem, Guillaume was a French human and his brother-in-law was German human and this, for some reason, was a very bad thing. Guillaume knew his there was no way to get across the trenches without being blown up. And that’s when he saw Chou.
Chou was a tiny kitty and her name in French means Cabbage. The French soldiers called her that because they thought she was darling and cute (as a cabbage? not sure about that one, but whatever), not because she liked to eat cabbage. No. What Chou liked was sausage. And Guillaume knew that she loved sausages. So he tied his letter and a white handkerchief around Chou’s neck and tossed her out into the stretch of mud called No Mans Land.
Chou was not stupid, so she ran back into the trench where it was safe. Guillaume tossed her back out, this time with a sausage, which he aimed for the German trench. This, Chou felt, was worth fighting for. Guillaume and the other soldiers in his trench threw more sausages, each time farther out, getting closer and closer to the German trench.
At first, a German soldier tried to shoot the Chou, but he was quickly stopped by fellow Germans who were, prolly, sick and tired of shooting and killing and mud and wanted very much to pet a such a darling kitty. No doubt they also were curious to see what this brave cat was up to. In fact, the German humans also started throwing sausages to lure her closer to their trench. When the cat finally reached the German side, soldiers in both trenches cheered.
After the war, Guillaume’s brother-in-law said that receiving the news of his new baby boy was the only thing that kept him sane during a long, muddy, stupid, no good war.
p.s. thanks to Eric Swanson, author of Hero Cats: True Stories of Daring Feline Deeds for this exciting story. And also muchos gracias to The Edwardians at Blogspot, for the great photo