Others led notable lives but had been all but forgotten until Koudounaris rediscovered them. Two months after those group photos were taken, this little cat would make history and be given a proper name – Félicette. In politics Canada. "Although other animals in space — such as Laika the dog and Ham the chimpanzee — are well-known within popular culture and have lasting memorials, very few people are aware that a cat went to space at all. Her death allowed scientists the opportunity to examine her brain carefully. In 2018, Matthew Serge Guy, a creative director and space cat fan in London, came up with the idea of a statue for Felicette. Félicette is not only the first, but also the only cat who’s ever set paws off our planet and lived to tell the tale. Though Pearlman doesn’t have cats or dogs—though he did admit to being “more of a cat person”—he says Félicette “has a special place in his history book.” Advertisement Félicette, a stray tuxedo cat from the streets of Paris, was a substitute for another cat named Felix, who somehow escaped on launch day. Despite her lofty achievements, Félicette was originally a Parisian stray. However, Félicette was euthanized two months after the launch. She was one of 14 cats trained by the French for space travel, several of whom did not survive. Perhaps the most selfless of the famous cats on our list, Scarlett was a mama cat who saved her five kittens one by one from a 1996 fire in Brooklyn. Félicette was the first cat to be launched into space, and the only one to survive spaceflight. ; New Zealand. Paddles, New Zealand's "First Cat", a polydactyl cat that belonged to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern After researchers at the Centre d’Enseignement et de Recherches de Médecine Aéronautique (CERMA) recruited 14 cats into a rigorous training program, Félicette—a sweet-tempered former stray—was granted the golden ticket, Emily Petsko reported for Mental Floss in 2018. Ultimately, Félicette was chosen for the mission over 13 other cats in training partially due to her calm disposition. Félicette. So Félicette went where no cat had ever gone before. A Statue for Felicette. And there, always on the end of the line in every photo, is a small, black and white tuxedo cat, probably the smallest of the whole group. The funds will underwrite the sculpture and erection of a statue for Félicette in her home city of Paris. Félicette returned from the 15-minute trip in once piece and earned the praise of French scientists, who said she made "a valuable contribution to research. But during her training and flight she was known only as … ". Tuxedo Stan, a cat who ran for mayor of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Scarlett, a heroic mother cat. Many of these characters, including Muezza (“Cherished”), the prophet Muhammed’s companion, and Félicette, a Parisian alley cat sent into space in 1963, are among the most famous felines to ever exist. On October 24, 1963, a tuxedo cat named Félicette entered outer space aboard a French Véronique AG1 rocket and made feline history. Before Félicette, France had so far only sent rats to space. Famous in own right Historic spaceflight France. The cat selected to undertake the first mission — one report said because she was the only animal that hadn't put on too much weight! She flew on a suborbital flight on 18 October 1963. 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