Who am I kidding, I still like it.
Anyway, plenty of animals have gone to space (mice, monkeys, a cat from France, rabbits, rats, fish, frogs, tortoises, insects, and several dogs...but seemingly no pigs) I just thought it was decent segue way to this post.
Today, August 19th, marks the 51st anniversary of Soviet Space Dogs Belka and Strelka day long orbital space flight. They went into space aboard Korabi-Sputnik 2 and where accompanied by mice, rats, plants, and a camera that recorded the flight. Belka and Strelka and their co-passengers have the distinction of being the first living creatures to go into orbit and survive. Previous, soviet space dogs such as Laika, the first living creature to enter orbit, died during flight. Here is a video clip of Belka and Strelka:
After, Belka and Strelka returned to earth they were national heroes. Belka went on to have puppies with a dog named Pushok and one of the puppies, Pushinka, was given to President Kennedy's daughter Caroline. Here is a picture of Pushinka on the white house lawn.
Pushinka went on to have puppies of her own and it is possible that her descendants are still living today.
In a weird coincidence today also marks the anniversary of the birth of Gene Rodenberry, creator of Star Trek. Like all good science fiction/fantasy fans I LOVE Star Trek, even if it is kind of hokey. Dogs, however, are pretty much totally absent from Star Trek--what kind of idealized future is that, I ask!
However, Star Trek does have a cat connecton. While I was at the Meet The Breeds event last year I noticed a sign at the Devon Rex table claiming that the breed was the inspiration for the Klingons on the show. According to the story one of the writers for the show had a Devon Rex that liked to cling-on his shoulder, hence the name. I have not been able to find any other evidence supporting this story though-so I am not sure if authenticity. The breed does look pretty alien though-in a cute way
image from link
On Star Trek The Next Generation a cat appears as a fairly regular character. Data, the android science officer on the show, owns a cat named Spot. Here is a picture of Spot from the show
I always thought Spot was neat and when my husband and I got our cat Baby
we almost named her Spot.
In one episode of Star Trek data reads a poem he wrote about Spot that Ive always thought is a pretty good description of cats in general here is the youtube clip and and text of the poem:
Ode to Spot