''There are few things in life more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat.''
Loving or aloof, mischievous or cuddly--for many people, their cats are an integral part of the family. Here are extraordinary stories of some of the world's most charismatic and captivating cats:
* Princess Kitty, dubbed ''The Smartest Cat in the World,'' was trained to play the piano and do 100 other incredible tricks
* ASPCA 2007 cat of the year, Winnie, led her family to a carbon monoxide leak
* Simon received the Dickin Medal for his efforts in consoling the wounded on the British navy ship HMS Amethyst
* A hospice cat named Oscar can predict patients' deaths
* Fred, the ''Undercover Kitty,'' won the Law Enforcement Appreciation Award for helping to nab a fraudulent vet
* Scarlett, an incredible mother cat, damaged her eyes saving her five kittens from a New York inferno
* Smart and adventurous, Macavity caught a bus several times a week to the nearest fish and chips shop
* Lewis, nicknamed ''The Terrorist of Sunset Circle,'' was put under permanent house arrest after biting and scratching six neighbors.
And many more.