Spike William is our new kitten and he was born January 30th, 2013.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Oscar Knows...

While you may or may not have read about this cat yet, he is already an internet star.
I found this in the St. Louis Post Dispatch today...

Creature of comfort

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting
when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during
their final hours.

His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led the staff to call family members
once he has chosen someone. It usually means they have less than four hours to

"He doesn't make too many mistakes. He seems to understand when patients are
about to die," said Dr. David Dosa in an interview. He describes the phenomenon
in a poignant essay in today's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"Many family members take some solace from it. They appreciate the
companionship that the cat provides for their dying loved one," said Dosa, a
geriatrician and assistant professor of medicine at Brown University.

The 2-year-old feline was adopted as a kitten and grew up in a third-floor
dementia unit at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The
facility treats people with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and other

After about six months, the staff noticed Oscar would make his own rounds, just
like the doctors and nurses. He'd sniff and observe patients, then sit beside
people who would wind up dying in a few hours.

Dosa said Oscar seems to take his work seriously and is generally aloof. "This
is not a cat that's friendly to people," he said.

Oscar is better at predicting death than the people who work there, said Dr.
Joan Teno of Brown University, who treats patients at the nursing home and is
an expert on care for the terminally ill.

Doctors say most of the people who get a visit from the sweet-faced,
gray-and-white cat are so ill they probably don't know he's there, so patients
aren't aware he's a harbinger of death. Most families are grateful for the
advanced warning, although one wanted Oscar out of the room while a family
member died. When Oscar is put outside, he paces and meows his displeasure.

No one's certain if Oscar's behavior is scientifically significant or points to
a cause. Teno wonders if the cat notices telltale scents or reads something
into the behavior of the nurses who raised him.
Look over here at I can has cheezburger?...
They already have a great lolcat of him


Henry Helton said...

Those cheeseburger guys are hilarious. I loved that story, I read it in the Dayton Daily News. Such a sweet kitty.

Gattina said...

What an amazing cat ! I have to say that my Pookie too feels when I am sick, because she would lay just besides my head and purr and doesn't leave me for a second !

HRH Yao-Lin said...

haha that lol cat is awesome he he

CHeysuli said...

I think that's such a great story!

Just Sharlene and My Spice Cats said...

I've read about this last week. I think Oscar is amazing!