Cats. Cats in space. Even better right? I know. Anyway, cats have been helping the space program probably since before you were born. Since 1947 cats have been being studied by the air force to learn about reflexes in micro gravity. The techniques that astronauts use today to deal with weightlessness are derived from watching kittens in a near weightless environment.
I find it very interesting that when humans needed to find out the best methods to maneuver in space we’d look at cats. What better species to study for reflexes under duress? I’ve seen amazing feats performed by cats that seem to defy physics. Everything from jumping off of telephone poles unharmed to fighting snakes with little issue to even near levitating at the mere sight of a cucumber (don’t do that shit either, you can literally give your cat a heart attack and at the least, it’s a dick move. How’d you like if I scare you like that. Soon…). Cat reflexes are truly astounding. If you ask me I’d say big cats are near the top of the list of crap that really scares me and I’d be seriously worried about if confronted by one. I might be able to out smart a chimp but I don’t know about a jaguar or a lion, that thing would find me and tear me to shreds.
Anyway, this isn’t about me (I know, it’s a shock to me as well). This is about Félicette. Who? Why Félicette, the first cat sent into space, by the French, back on October 18, 1963 when they set up a sort of mini zoo in space. She served her kind well and made it back safely to earth only to be put down by the heathens at CERMA laboratories for further study of some electrodes they implanted in her brain. Kinda lame that humans kill animals with such ease for science. One area where I say “fuck you science, you have failed me!” Luckily, no one is listening usually.
Félicette is the only cat that has been to space so far and there currently aren’t any space programs with felines that I’m aware of. We kind of study smaller easier organisms in space nowadays. Although if humans are to venture into space at some point it’s only logical that we’ll want to bring our feline friends with us, so I can perhaps see the need for further study eventually to make sure our furballs will have what they need in different or no gravity. Man I’d love to see my cats playing in 1/6 gravity. It would be insane. Sometimes they’re even better than watching MMA for brawls. Crazy cats.