How a Kitten Saved a Marine

In eastern Korea, in 1952, 1st Marine Division Sgt. Frank Praytor adopted a kitten after another solider shot its mother to death for “yeowling” Praytor would use canned milk and a medicine dropper to feed the kitten, whom he named Miss Hap because, "she was born at the wrong place at the wrong time." He later weaned her on meat from ration cans. His mistake was sending this photo of him and Miss Hap home.

The photo quickly went the pre-Internet equivalent of viral, appearing in more than 1,700 American newspapers, including The New York Times. Praytor then faced a court martial for allowing a civilian publication to run a combat photo without proper authorization. When handed the court martial papers, however, his commandant tore them up. Evidently people were nuts about cat photos pre-Facebook.

Read Praytor's story in his own words in Graybeards (volume 23, no. 3), the official publication of the Korean War Veterans Association.

Related links: Cat Photos