Mr. Pebbles Backstory

Post » Thu Feb 25, 2016 3:23 pm

As we all know, Mr. Pebbles was the first cat in space. However, not much else is known due to the loss of records during the Great War. After many years of research, the story of this aviation pioneer is now known.

During the mid-twentieth cold war, both of the nations known as the United States and the Soviet Union were engaged in a race to develop space travel. On November 3, 1957 the Soviet Union launched Lakia the dog into space. Lakia became the first animal to orbit the Earth. This was a devastating blow for the United States’ National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Desperate for a way to outpace the Soviets in space, Project Noah was begun.

Project Noah was the brainchild of Ethyl Jebip, a senior project manager with NACA. Ms. Jebip realized that before the public would accept sending humans into space, the technology would need to be demonstrated on animals. Ms. Jebip’s first idea was to send a chimpanzee into space. Chimpanzees closely resemble humans, and would clearly demonstrate that space travel is safe for humans. Ham the chimpanzee was selected and training began. As Ham’s training progressed, his frequent incontinence proved to be an insurmountable barrier. This was a devastating setback and no one took it harder than Ethyl Jebip. Despite this turn of events Ethyl was determined to achieve success for the American space program.

History changed on the night of December 13, 1958. After a long day of unsuccessful lab trials, Ethyl Jebip went home and listened to her favorite radio program: Snowy Cat, Private Eye. Inspiration struck. She found herself reasoning that anyone can train a dog, but only true genius could train a cat. She immediate contacted noted animal trainer Yar Nawel.

Yar Nawel emigrated to the United States in the spring of 1939 to escape persecution in his native Germany. His talents were welcomed in his adopted home and he collaborated with B. F. Skinner on Project Orcon (developing a pigeon-controlled guided missile). Following the end of World War II, Mr. Nawel turned his considerable talents to Hollywood. He was instrumental in developing radio and early-television hit programs such as: Claude the Longshoreman Rat, Ronald Rhino: Attorney at Law, and the long-running baseball drama Perri the Pinch-Running Cheeta. Although he achieved both commercial and critical success, he still longed to serve his new homeland. He couldn’t wait to collaborate with Ethyl Jebip on the space program.

Ethyl Jebip and Yar Nawel became an inseparable pair. It was not uncommon for them to work around the clock and for days on end. Training cats is never easy, but Mr. Nawel was up to the challenge. His nationwide cat search ranged from animal shelters to the advertising departments of cat food companies. At the end of his search two candidates were found: Benjamin (of Purr Purr cat food fame), and Mr. Pebbles from the Racine, WI animal shelter.

During final training, Benjamin’s aggressive nature caused him to cause irreparable damage to his space suit. Mr. Pebble’s more sedate nature allowed an easy completion of his training. The invention of the Zero-G Litter Box was the final technological breakthrough needed to make Mr. Pebbles’ flight possible. On January 31, 1961, Mr. Pebbles was launched into space. He was a credit to his training, and his ability to push levers was flawless. Mr. Pebbles’ capsule splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean after a 17-minute flight.

Mr. Pebbles was truly a national hero. He began a nationwide tour with Ethyl Jebip. Life on the road did not agree with Mr. Pebbles, and he began to hiss and puff his tail during public events. At a rally in an Asheville NC brewery, Mr. Pebbles ran off the stage to chase a mouse. Ethyl Jebip took pity on Mr. Pebbles and allowed him to live out the rest of his days as a mouser.

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