A Cat Made Famous For His Bravery and Unsinkability


A black and white patched cat known today as Unsinkable Sam (also known as Oscar) has become one of the most famous cats in history because, unbelievably, he survived three shipwrecks.  Oscar’s story of survival, bravery, and luck might have gathered a few embellished parts along the way, but nevertheless here is his tale.

His story began on the German Battleship Bismarck where he was considered the ship’s cat.  The British sunk the Bismarck which left Oscar alive and floating in the Atlantic ocean on a piece of the wreckage where he was soon discovered by the British Royal Navy.

He was made the ships mascot on the Cossack and was pretty happy for the next five months as it sailed in the Mediterranean and north Atlantic.  The Cossack was torpedoed and a huge explosion blew off the bows, sending Oscar once again into the depths with a shipwreck.

The third ship that became his home was the Ark Royal Oscar.  Just three weeks after Oscar became the crew’s newest member, it was torpedoed, yet again sending Oscar into the ocean.  But again this brave cat miraculously survived and was found by a rescue boat clinging to a plank.  Rescuers described Oscar as “angry but quite unharmed”.

The rescue boat didn’t quite know what to do with “Unsinkable Sam”, so he was sent to the Governor’s office in Gibralter and eventually back to the United Kingdom where he lived out the rest of his life in a seaman’s home in Belfast until his death in 1955.

Oscar is not only known for his tale of survival, but he is also referred to as the world’s luckiest cat.  Maybe this is where the “9 lives” comes from!