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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Friends of the Famous - T

On a chilly day in December a police officer had no idea what to expect when responding to a 911 call in which only silence was recorded on the line. Upon entering the home the officer was astonished to find the homeowner on the floor beside his wheelchair and the owner’s cat Tommy across the room near the phone through which the 911 operator still intently listened. The owner explained that he’d fallen out of his chair and without much hope had instructed the cat to use the phone.

Before the start of his first career-making film, Roy Rogers was asked to choose one of the horses owned by the studio for filming. Three was a charmer when Rogers picked Trigger because he handled so well and could “turn on a dime and give you some change”. Throughout 80 films and over a hundred television series episodes, Rogers never failed to give credit to Trigger for his unfailing performances. Trigger quickly became the most famous horse in film entertainment, and his knowledge of over 150 tricks and the ability to haul Rogers up multiple flights of stairs for visits to hospital-ridden children didn’t hurt his off-screen image one bit! Trigger does in fact have his prints on the Walk of Fame, right next to those of Roy Rogers.

There were many courageous heroes that night of 1912 when the unsinkable Titanic tragically did just that. This is the story of one you may not have heard about. There were eleven dogs on board the Titanic, but only four survived.  When one of the surviving dogs, a Newfoundland named Rigel, found himself swimming beside Lifeboat #4 when it was separated quite a distance from the other lifeboats and unnoticed by the rescue ship Carpathia; which was bearing down on the small boat, he sprang into action. The passengers of the lifeboat were too weary to call out, but Rigel was able to bark for attention and in swimming in front of the small craft, revealed its location to the rescue ship.

Is your cat a genius? Did you watch the Roy Rogers series? Have you seen the movie Titanic, starring Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet?


  1. Hi, dear Diedre!

    I remember that story about the pet cat saving its owner by dialing 911 on the phone.

    Yessum, I was a regular viewer of Roy Rogers and admired the tricks and stunts performed by animal actor Trigger. I'm pretty sure that Roy and Trigger appeared in York, PA, at some point during my childhood.

    I never gave a thought to the animals that might have been aboard the ill fated Titanic. It's sad to know that seven dogs went down with the ship, but the story about Rigel, the Newfoundland, is inspiring. I saw the modern remake of Titanic but my favorite was the 1953 version that starred Barbara Stanwyck, Clifton Webb, Robert Wagner and Audrey Dalton. I also enjoyed A Night To Remember, a British film released in 1958. As Wiki explains: "Among the many films about the Titanic, A Night to Remember has long been regarded as the high point by Titanic historians and survivors alike for its accuracy despite its modest production values when compared with the Oscar-winning film Titanic (1997)." As a lover of nonfiction and a person who values the truth, I prefer movies that are historically accurate.

    Thank you very much and have a great weekend, dear friend Diedre!

    1. Hi Shady!

      I remain skeptical on the cat using the phone story. I've never had a cat react on demand;-)

      I wouldn't be surprised if you saw the dazzling western duo in your neck of the woods!

      Most all other surviving dogs were small enough to be carried off the ship by their owners. It is of but little consolation, I suppose, that all animals were released from their cages when it was clear the ship was going down.
      I haven't seen 'A Night To Remember' but now I'll make a point of it;-) I'm just as content to watch a documentary as I am a fiction any day!

      Happy Saturday, my friend:-)

  2. I've only seen Roy Rogers in all reruns but I loved that horse as a kid. No genius cats here. LOL

    Susan Says

    1. Hi Susan!

      The things I've learned about Trigger (thanks to this challenge) have been amazing! I can't say as I've ever seen a Roy Rogers show - gasp!- But I can sure see why they were popular:-)

      Ha! I believe cats are certainly smart enough, just not willing:-)

      Thanks for coming by!

  3. A cat dialed the phone? Okay, I need to train my dog to do that!

    1. Hi Stephanie!

      A dog, you can train (grin). I'll always wonder now, if it's actually possible to get a cat to use the phone on command;-)

      Happy Saturday, Stephanie!

  4. Amazing what animals can do. Trigger was probably the first horse I fell in love with :)
    <a href=">Jemima Pett</a>

    1. Hi Jemima!
      I think lots of people fell in love with Trigger;-) He was pretty amazing. I wish I'd have known more about him sooner:-)
      Thank you for coming by!

  5. I have owned manageries of animals for the past thirty years. I did have a cat that would knock food and items off the kitchen counter to her friend the dog. At first I thought it was a coincidence. But I saw her in action. But I do think it was dumb luck and divine intervention for the phone to be knocked off and dialed which I do think is possible.

    1. Hi Ann!
      "to her friend the dog" - ha! My cats did the same thing:-) One cat wouldn't stay out of the Fruit Loops I kept in a low cupboard for the kids!
      The only thing I can think of is if Tommy the cat hit the speed dial or something.
      Have a pleasant evening!

  6. See? Good reason to own a cat.
    It's nice that Trigger is on the walk of fame. He was a remarkable creature.
    And wow, you supplied a bit of Titanic trivia I was unaware of.

    1. Hi there, Jeffrey:-)
      Ha! At least that cat came in handy, huh?
      I was truly amazed by how many 'tricks' Trigger could perform.
      Having always had an interest in the Titanic story, I was surprised to discover something I didn't know - and it fit with my theme. Woot!
      Enjoy your day!

  7. Finding your blog for the first time while out blog hopping from North Carolina during the #Challenge. ” I looked back at several of your posts before hurrying on to visit as many blogs as possible on Sunday, our day off. I may be one of your few readers who loved Trigger, a young child who loved horses and grew up with the story. Thanks for reminding me of a nice memory. If you have interest or time, I have been writing about hotels and inns, the architects and settings. On the letter T day it was about tea at a lovely hotel yesterday. Join me.

    1. Hi Stepheny!
      Glad you stopped by, it's nice to make your acquaintance:-) I checked out your blog about tea and was quite impressed. I'm always interested in travels, places and cultures.
      Have a peaceful Sunday:-)

  8. That's one clever cat! I didn't know they responded well to commands. Funny coincidence - I just commented on your previous post and mentioned Trigger. ☺ Hurray for Rigel the Newf! I didn't know there were dogs on board the Titanic. Where did they do their business, I wonder?

    1. Hi Debbie!
      I've never known a cat to do more than appear offended on command;-)
      After I posted this, it occurred to me that I hadn't given you a heads up on Rigel. I'm glad you popped in to see it:-) Good point, where do animals do their business when at sea? I'm glad someone had the forethought to release the furry Titanic passengers from their cages.
      Have a splendid week!


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