Friday, July 23, 2010

My Run In With Oscar The Death Cat

Awww, check out that pwecious widdle kitty witty! Cute lil guy aint he? Little do you know, ignorant human, that this cat is literally the Grim Reaper himself, wrapped up in a fuzzy disguise of feline fatality.

This cat goes by the name of Oscar, although Charon, Hel, Thanatos or Set would probably suit him much better. You see, Oscar has the uncanny ability of being able to predict when patients at Providence's Steere House nursing home are about to die.

That's right, when a patient in the Alzheimer's ward on the third floor is about to kick the bucket, Oscar likes to get all warm 'n fuzzy with them. In fact, he's accurately predicted over 50 patient deaths at Steere House. He does this by laying down and snuggling with them rather than ignoring them like he usually does. Two hours later, Oscar wakes up and the patient does not. The victims of this terminal tabby are often touted as going "very peacefully" because of his presence.

Two months ago I took on a courier job where I deliver medications to nursing homes. The first stop on one of my routes is Steere House, and I remember vaguely hearing some chatter about a cat that could predict the death of the patients there. I kind of forgot about this until a friend recently inquired if I'd seen "the death cat" yet. Since there are about 55 cats in that home, I figured I'd google to see if the death cat was mentioned anywhere online. There are a myriad of articles about him, and one of the better ones is here:

Aw yeah, "furry angel of death" indeed. I was happy that I'd never seen Oscar before, and was admittedly a little disappointed that he looks well... so damn cute! I figured a "death" cat would be much larger, blacker, scarier and surlier looking. Oscar's such a little cuddle bug, you almost can't resist snuggling up with him, and that's the most frightening thing about him. If he has the ability to bait people into petting themselves straight to Purgatory, well then Oscar needs to stay far far away from me.

Ahhh, but my luck was bound to run out eventually. You see, Oscar and I finally met tonight, and not only did I see him, but his full attention was placed squarely on ME from the second our eyes met. I was delivering meds to the third floor, when all of a sudden, from under the nurse's desk, ole Kitty Cat Charon himself jumped up on the counter. Recognizing him immediately, I jumped back as he started rubbing my med bin with his face.

Sensing that I was trying to avoid him, he jumped off the counter and started jogging over to me. I screamed "Get that cat AWAY from me!" but the nurses just laughed, saying "Oh come on, he likes you!" like that's a good thing or something. I wanted absolutely no part of his bad juju, and couldn't wait to get the hell out of there.

Luckily no physical contact was made between Oscar and I. When the elevator reached the first floor, I asked the nurse if she had everything she needed and she replied,

"Oh, this was marked wrong, it has to go up to the third floor."

My heart sank to the bottom of my chest. I was not prepared to have to face Oscar again, having narrowly escaped my first encounter with him. When the elevator arrived at the third floor, Oscar made a b line dash out the door, with a nurse screaming "don't let that cat out!" from inside. Part of me thought it might be a good thing if Oscar actually escaped, as with the rest of Steere House as a buffer zone he'd have less chance of finding me again. Unfortunately though, that was not the case, as from the window in the door I could see him sitting in the middle of the hallway.



In front of the elevator.

For me.

Not wanting to try and cheat this hirsute hitman again, I figured it was time to stand my ground. I cleared my throat as I entered the hallway and said "Oscar, get out of my way, I'm getting on the elevator." He didn't budge.

I tried a firmer approach; "Oscar, I'm leaving now, YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF MY WAY." Oscar started licking his paw and then cleaning his ear with it.

One final time I said "DAMMIT OSCAR, GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE, WHY DO YOU WANT TO KILL ME???!!!" Oscar then lazily walked over to a nurse who was sitting in the lounge area who said "Aw, be nice, he's famous you know!" to which I replied "Yes, I know, and I know WHY he's famous, and I want no part of it!" To which she replied "You don't really believe that do you?" To which I retorted, "Better safe than sorry!"

I breathed a sigh of relief as I got on the elevator, and I hope I never see that charming (yet deadly) cat ever again. It's not often that you meet a cat who has real supernatural cred., and given his impressive track record, I'll err on the side of caution and avoid him as much as possible.

But... but... he's so CUTE!