Trench warfare is not fun. First, it’s very messy. Mud everywhere. Second, no privacy. People are just wandering around, not a moment of peace (That may also have something to do with the constant shelling, but, still). Third, rats. Yuck! Who wants to wake up in the middle of the night with rats running around all over the place? No matter how miserable a place is, it just gets worse with rats.

How do you solve a rat problem when you’re constantly dawning a gas mask?

Cats!

Yup! Fluffy little fur balls served as soldiers in the trenches of World War I. Besides catching rats and not giving a paw about the barrage of mortars, they boosted the moral of the men. Considering WWI was probably the most horrific way to begin a new century, having any type of comfort in a desperate place helps fight terror.

Oh, and one saved a life. Pitouchi, a cat “serving” for the Belgians, was adopted by a soldier named Lekeux. One day, Lekeux noticed some Germans digging a new trench, and began to draw a picture of it (No camera phones). Unfortunately, the Germans had noticed Lekeux, and approached. Lekeux made a dive for a hole, because humans don’t have nine lives.

Not likely. Pitouchi wasn’t having it. The feline basically pulled a fast one on the Germans, jumping out of the hole Lekeux was hiding in. The Germans were startled, then started laughing that they were frightened by a cat.

There is no way to minimize, trivialize, or mock the devastation that WWI brought. The cats served a purpose, not just to get rid of rodents, but to bring some happiness to the men in the trenches. Know more.