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Meet Oscar the Firehouse Cat

While out and about meeting folks at police and fire departments across Northeast Ohio last week, I was introduced to an important member of the Vienna Township Fire Department.  His name is Oscar.  He is a cat.


The kitty showed up at the firehouse about 5 years ago, cold and hungry.  The firefighters brought him inside to give him some food and make sure he had a warm place to sleep.  It was the night of the Oscars on TV – the cat’s fur coincidentally looked like a tuxedo – so the name “Oscar” seemed fitting.  



Oscar never left.  In fact, he NEVER steps outside the fire station, even when the loud alarms are going off.  Fire Chief Richard Brannon believes Oscar’s purpose is to be here.  This cat seems to have an uncanny knack of knowing when someone is stressed and needs to be calmed.  There was a horrific accident last Summer, for instance, when the chief returned to the firehouse troubled by what he saw.  Oscar knew immediately something was up, and settled onto Chief Brannon’s lap, stretching his front legs up to the chief’s neck, as if he were giving him a hug.

Oscar, though, was the source of a little stress on one occasion.  As he sometimes does, Oscar playfully batted at the telephone, knocking it off the hook.  He then fell asleep with his paw on the 911 alarm.  Dispatchers tried unsuccessfully calling the fire station, but thankfully were able to reach one of the firefighters before dispatching a full emergency response.


Oscar slept through it all.