You wouldn’t shoot a kitten, would you?
That, according to the writer Polyaenus, was the tactical gambit employed by the Achaemenid Persian army in 525 BC, as they set out to conquer Egypt. Knowing that cats were sacred animals to the Egyptians, the Persians rounded up a bunch of the fluffy little rascals, and carried them along in the battle of Pelusium.
And it worked. The Egyptian archers didn’t shoot their arrows, as they were afraid to hit the cats. This gave the Persians the upper hand, allowing them to win the battle, take Pelusium, and go on to annex Egypt. Which, BTW, ended the last native Egyptian dynasty. So, a pretty major event.
Yeah, I know: The story is almost certainly a later invention. Polyaenus was writing hundreds of years later, and the idea is completely ludicrous on the face of it. Most importantly, the story isn’t in Herodotus. And it’s just the kind of anecdote Herodotus would have been all over, if it had been circulating in his day.
But still: That is just such an irresistible image that I’m just going to believe it happened anyway, facts be damned. Picture it: The cutest, fluffiest army ever going into battle. Someone needs to put this in a movie script.