Meet Oscar, a cat with a supernatural ability to feel when people are about to die. In over 50 documented cases, Oscar, who lives in a nursing home , has curled up beside patients in their final hours, seeing them through to the ‘other side’.
His unique story was revealed by Dr. David Dosa, a geriatrician and assistant professor at Brown University, who claims Oscar’s predictions have rarely been wrong in the past six years. In fact, he has even proved medical staff wrong at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rhode Island, where he was adopted seven years ago as a kitten.
Dr. Dosa first told the world about Oscar’s rare gift in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007. Since then, the cat has accurately sensed even more deaths, convincing the geriatrician that it wasn’t just a series of coincidences. Dr. Dosa eventually wrote a book about his experiences with Oscar at the nursing home. It’s called ‘Making rounds with Oscar: The extraordinary gift of an ordinary cat’.
The book describes Oscar’s daily routine, how he spends his time pacing from room to room at the nursing home, rarely spending time with patients who have still got a fighting chance of survival. Instead, he picks out certain patients and cuddles up next to them . These are often the ones who will pass away in a short time. If kept outside the room of a dying patient, he will scratch at the door, trying to get in.
In one instance, Oscar visited a woman who had a very severe blood clot in her leg, wrapping himself around her cold limb and staying by her side until she passed away. Another time, when the staff believed that Oscar was done with his rounds, he actually returned a few hours later to lay with one particular patient until he died.
Oscar starts his day by making the rounds of the 40+ patients at the nursing home, visiting every patient but not stopping to spend time with any of them—unless he senses that the patient is at the end of his or her life.
Then Oscar will jump up on the furniture or onto the windowsill, patiently and quietly sitting for hours on end. Occasionally, he will jump onto the bed and curl up with the sick person, though that is pretty rare.
“The cat was difficult to be found, unless someone was in the dying process, and then he would be very much front and center,” said Dosa. “Then he’ll be there until the very end.”
“But it’s the effect he has on the caretakers that really makes the difference. Dementia takes so much from the patient, but it’s really the caretakers that suffer the most,” explains Dosa. Staying with terminal people and offering them solace and comfort when they’re at the end of their days is extremely stressful for the staff. So Oscar’s calm demeanor and compassionate care for the dying is an attitude not to be take lightly.
“It’s the story of a remarkable cat,” says Dosa, who has written a book about Oscar, called Making Rounds With Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat.
Share this wonderful story with your friends and then buy a copy of the book about Oscar, available wherever books are sold.