In 2002, a stray kitten named Rusik walked into a police station in the Stavropol region in Russia, an area known primarily for mountains and sadness. The policemen working there took the kitten in and gave him some fish, as they had quite a bit lying around. See, this particular station was a security checkpoint whose main purpose was to use dogs to search every car that passed through for smuggled sturgeon, a very rare and valuable fish from which caviar is made. Whenever they caught smugglers, they would confiscate the fish and, apparently, just leave them lying around the station.
"That's a desk."
The cops there would come to realize that Rusik had an uncanny ability to detect any and all sturgeon that passed through the checkpoint, sort of like how girls can find every bit of pornography their boyfriends are hiding even if they aren't really looking for it.
According to staff, "no matter how ingenious the smugglers were in their attempts to hide the fish, Rusik was always able to point his nose in the right direction and find it." Rusik eventually became the official sturgeon detector, replacing the old, specially trained $2,000 sturgeon-sniffing dog, which presumably had to resist the very powerful urge to bite that fucking cat in half.
"The severance package doesn't include my arm!"
Rusik rose to international fame in early July 2003, when the BBC did a short news story on him and his famed nose. Sadly, little Rusik wouldn't make it one more week, as the lords of the sturgeon-smuggling underworld decided that the cat was going to have an unfortunate "accident."
Around July 15 that same year, Rusik was inspecting a car, hot on the trail of some smuggled sturgeon, when the car pulled forward and crushed him in what police believe was an official contract killing so hilariously obvious it is mystifying how nobody else thought of it. This marks probably the first time a contract has been put out on a cat's life.
A glaring oversight, in our opinion.
In late 1984, a cat named Sabrina tragically fell from the 32nd story of the high-rise New York apartment building where her owner lived, making a hard landing on the concrete below. The cat was rushed to the 62nd Street Animal Medical Center, where veterinarians worked as hard as they could to restore the cat's health. Alas, 48 hours later, the center had no choice but to pronounce Sabrina "perfectly fucking fine."
According to the medical center, Sabrina's fall only left her with a chipped tooth and a fairly mild lung puncture; reports of quick-deploying titanium armor were unconfirmed. After two days, Sabrina was sent back to her family, where she presumably lived the rest of her life sitting in the exact center of the living room.
You don't move a cat like that without saying "please."
While we'd like to say that Sabrina was simply a Kryptonian cat in disguise, the truth is that she is far from the only cat to survive a jump off of the high dive. One study, for instance, found that a very large number of cats fell from New York apartments between June and November of 1984, either from trying to chase down some sonofabitch fly or from walking too fancy on a balcony. While the statistical relevance of the study is debated by the world's statistics majors, the fact remains that of the 132 cats that lived long enough to make it to the 62nd Street Animal Medical Center, only 17 of them could not be saved. Most of them ended up like Sabrina, treated and back in their homes before their families had time to appreciate their nonshredded furniture.
You wouldn't believe how cute crutches can be.
Scientists have theorized that once cats hit their terminal velocity, their muscles relax much like an alcoholic's, and they stretch out their limbs to slow their descent and spread the shock across their entire bodies, kind of like a trained paratrooper. This confirms our suspicions that "falling" is the only thing you could ever train a cat to do properly.
Meet Oscar the cat. Cute, isn't he?
If you find this cat sleeping with you, it means you're about to die.
Oscar is one of six cats living at the Steere House Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Providence, RI, and he has an uncanny and supernatural ability to tell when one of the elderly patients isabout to head for the great bingo hall in the sky. When patients are near death, he will curl up with them, sometimes lying directly on top of the terminally afflicted area of their bodies, and will stay until they have passed. If he is removed from the room, he will pace outside the door and meow incessantly until he is let back in to enjoy the sweet, sweet taste of death.
Oscar was brought into the nursing home back in 2005 as a newborn rescue kitten from an animal shelter. He wasn't very friendly with people at first, ignoring them or hissing at them when they got too close. After six months, however, the staff noticed Oscar's strange tendency to curl up with patients who would die only a couple of hours later, while he was still in the room. When The New England Journal of Medicine published a paper on Oscar's behavior, he had made 25 correct predictions in a row, which is absolutely the point where the cat changes from "intriguing" to "terrifying."
Oscar's skill is so great that he can even make predictions better than the actual staff, i.e., the people who paid for the training to know when somebody in their care is going to die. On one occasion, the nurses thought that a patient was close to death, ,so they took Oscar and placed him on the patient's bed for reasons that no one can begin to understand. Apparently Oscar didn't understand what they wanted him to do, either, so he leapt from the bed and went to sleep with another patient in a nearby room. Turns out Oscar's pick was right, as his patient died that evening, while the nurses' pick lived another two days.
This chair was broken by a fat person the very next morning.
Oscar has correctly predicted the deaths of more than 50 patients over the past five years. His story has inspired a book, movies and a particularly good episode of House. If a nurse or staff member sees Oscar sleeping alongside one of the patients, it's now standard protocol to call the patient's family and tell them that their loved one is about to die.
"Excuse me, Mrs. Stein? Your mother has been chosen by the Grim Reaper's feline agent. Just keeping you in the loop!"
How does Oscar know when people are about to die? There are a number of explanations, such as an attraction to warming blankets used on dying patients or the lack of movement in certain other patients near death. One popular theory suggests that the body gives off chemicals like ketones when it dies, and Oscar is able to smell those and for some reason is attracted to them. We at Cracked like the simplicity and elegance of our preferred explanation -- Oscar is a necromancer.
Be sure to pick up our new book, which will help protect you from Oscar.
For more on cats, check out 6 Adorable Cat Behaviors With Shockingly Evil Explanations. Or learn about some more awesome animals, in 5 Animals That Can Do Amazing Things ... With Their Penises.
And stop by Linkstorm to discover how cats actually rule the world.
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