Félicette, the First Cat in Space, Finally Has a Proper Memorial in Strasbourg, France

Deefaze, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0
Deefaze, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0

The list of Earthlings that have survived the journey to space includes the name of a single cat. In 1963, Félicette made feline and human history when she was launched about 100 miles above Earth's surface by France's Centre d’Enseignement et de Recherches de Médecine Aéronautique, or CERMA. Nearly 60 years later, the world's first cat astronaut has been honored with her own memorial, Space.com reports.

Félicette was a stray living on the streets of Paris when she was discovered by scientists. After undergoing an intense training program—which included spending time in compression chambers, small containers, and a centrifuge— Félicette was chosen from a pool of other feline astronaut candidates to go to space. The mission was meant to demonstrate how the bodies of medium-sized mammals acted in a weightless environment.

After launching in a Véronique rocket from Algeria, the black-and-white cat spent around 15 minutes in suborbital space. She survived the journey and was recovered back on Earth, but two months later, Félicette died when scientists removed electrodes from her brain to study the neurological effects of space travel.

Félicette was the first cat sent to space and remains the only cat astronaut who returned to Earth alive. In 2017, creative director Matthew Serge Guy launched a Kickstarter campaign to honor the history-making feline with her own memorial. Laika, the first dog in space, has her own monument in Moscow, but no such statue had existed for Félicette.

After raising nearly $57,000, the campaign completed its mission on December 18 with the unveiling of the new Félicette memorial at the International Space University in Strasbourg, France. The bronze statue, which is situated in the school's Pioneer's Hall, stands 5 feet tall. It shows Félicette sitting on a globe of the Earth, looking up at what lies beyond.

Following the initial unveiling, Guy is considering hosting another event in honor of the 57th anniversary of Félicette's flight in October 2020. The Kickstarter backers and their guests would be invited to visit France to see the statue in person.

[h/t Space.com]

Wayfair’s Fourth of July Clearance Sale Takes Up to 60 Percent Off Grills and Outdoor Furniture


This Fourth of July, Wayfair is making sure you can turn your backyard into an oasis while keeping your bank account intact with a clearance sale that features savings of up to 60 percent on essentials like chairs, hammocks, games, and grills. Take a look at some of the highlights below.

Outdoor Furniture

Brisbane bench from Wayfair

- Jericho 9-Foot Market Umbrella $92 (Save 15 percent)
- Woodstock Patio Chairs (Set of Two) $310 (Save 54 percent)
- Brisbane Wooden Storage Bench $243 (Save 62 percent)
- Kordell Nine-Piece Rattan Sectional Seating Group with Cushions $1800 (Save 27 percent)
- Nelsonville 12-Piece Multiple Chairs Seating Group $1860 (Save 56 percent)
- Collingswood Three-Piece Seating Group with Cushions $410 (Save 33 percent)

Grills and Accessories

Dyna-Glo electric smoker.

- Spirit® II E-310 Gas Grill $479 (Save 17 percent)
- Portable Three-Burner Propane Gas Grill $104 (Save 20 percent)
- Digital Bluetooth Electric Smoker $224 (Save 25 percent)
- Cuisinart Grilling Tool Set $38 (Save 5 percent)

Outdoor games

American flag cornhole game.

- American Flag Cornhole Board $57 (Save 19 percent)
- Giant Four in a Row Game $30 (Save 6 percent)
- Giant Jenga Game $119 (Save 30 percent)

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The Reason Your Dog Follows You Everywhere

Crew, Unsplash
Crew, Unsplash

Depending on your mood, a dog that follows you everywhere can be annoying or adorable. The behavior is also confusing if you're not an expert on pet behavior. So what is it about the canine companions in our lives that makes them stick by our sides at all times?

Most experts agree on a few different reasons why some dogs are clingy around their owners. One is their pack mentality. Dogs may have been domesticated thousands of years ago, but they still consider themselves to be part of a group like their wild ancestors. When there are no other dogs around, their human family becomes their pack. According to Reader's Digest, this genetic instinct is also what motivates dogs to watch you closely and seek out your physical touch.

The second reason for the behavior has to do with the bond between you and your pet. As veterinarian Dr. Rachel Barrack told the American Kennel Club, puppies as old as 6 months can imprint on their human owners like they would their own mothers. Even older dogs will bond with the humans in their lives who show them care and affection. In these cases, a dog will shadow its owner because it sees them as an object of trust and security.

The last possible explanation for why your dog follows you has more to do with your treatment of them than their natural instincts. A popular training tactic is positive reinforcement—i.e. rewarding a dog with treats, pets, and praise when they perform positive behaviors. The point is to help your dog associate good behaviors with rewards, but after a while, they may start to associate your presence with rewards as well. That means if your dog is following you, they may be looking for treats or attention.

A clingy dog may be annoying, but it usually isn't a sign of a larger problem. If anything, it means your dog sees you in a positive light. So enjoy the extra companionship, and don't be afraid to close the door behind when you need some alone time.