The Curse of Oscar
By AJ Marks
The captain walked into the admiral’s office, pausing to glance at the stacks of papers, maps and other knick-knacks on the desk. Lately the Nazis had been quiet but the captain knew that might change.
“Ah, captain, what can I do for you?” the admiral said, sitting behind the desk and had been looking over some reports or something.
“Sir, it’s about these transfer orders,” the captain replied placing a paper on the desk which the admiral looked over.
The admiral looked over the transfer paper then back up at the captain. “What’s the problem?”
“Sir, you want to transfer Oscar to our ship, we won’t take him,” the captain said. “He’s cursed, everyone knows it, the men, I know it, even you know it.”
“Cursed, what nonsense are you spouting, of course you can take him,” the admiral replied. “There have been a few people in England who wish to meet him, heard he’s to head to Belfast.”
“Sir, taking him on board my ship would be a mistake,” the captain said. “The sailors on board would probably mutiny if he came on board.”
“Oscar has been nothing but good for morale around here, and from what I’ve seen your crew could use some cheering up,” the admiral said, looking the captain in the eye daring him to prove him wrong.
“Okay, he has been, but doesn’t change the facts, one battleship, one destroyer and one carrier, all of which have sunk while he was on board,” the captain said. “Oscar might raise morale, but he would be viewed by others as a curse.”
“Son, are you telling me you won’t take Oscar on board your cruiser even if I make it a direct order?”
“Yes sir, I don’t’ care how much he raises morale on board, I won’t lose my ship because of him,” the captain said. “He is bad luck.”
“All because of some so called bad luck,” the admiral shot back.
“Sir, if he is allowed on board some of the men might think the ship is doomed, even going so far as to look for the doom which they have convinced themselves is coming.”
“Not every ship he’s been on board has sunk, the Lightning is still afloat last I saw,” the admiral said.
“Only because he didn’t stay on board for long,” the captain replied back to him.
The rumble of thunder echoed through the room announcing the coming afternoon rains. Pausign to look out the windows they could see the dark clouds gathering as the admiral turned back to the captain.
“You won’t take him?” the admiral asked.
“No sir, he’s a curse to any ship he boards,” the captain replied.
“You leave me with a tough decision,” the admiral replied back, pausing to consider his options.
“You yourself said he’s a morale booster around here, keep him here,” the captain said.
“Well, I do enjoy his company, and yet I have orders from high command,” the captain said.
He sat back to review his options when Oscar came waltzing into the room as if he owned it. “Well, hello there Oscar, how are you doing today? I’ve got a treat for you, managed to take some milk from the cafeteria this morning, think you’ll like it,” he said reaching behind his desk.
Oscar glanced at the admiral for a second before answering. “Mew,” he said, saying it again as he watched the admiral pouring the milk into a saucer and placing it on the ground. Oscar ran over quickly lapping at the milk, purring at the same time.
“I would miss him, but…”
His words were halted as his chair broke sending him to the floor.
“You see, he’s cursed!”
“Nonsense, that was just…”
This is a little story I could see happening if Oscar was to be placed on board another warship. Oscar, a cat, was on board the German battleship Bismarck, which sank, rescued by the British destroyer Cossack, which sank, rescued and placed on board the carrier Ark Royal, which sank. He was rescued again and considered an unlucky cat to have on board any ship.
The British admiralty had him transferred from Gibraltar to Belfast where he stayed living to the age of 15 and was never to be the mascot of any warship again.