Carriers and other vessels got infested with rodents. So cats were not just moral boosters (which they very much were) they were also working members of the crew. Some have even been immortalized for surviving multiple attacks on their ships, etc. Military dogs have been recognized for the important roles they’ve played but I think cats kinda get lost in the shuffle of military animals sometimes.
i actually bought my brother a postcard with that last photo on it when i was in london like two weeks ago