Thread: Cat of Death

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    Default Cat of Death

    When death comes calling, so does Oscar the cat

    PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (AP) -- 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 the patient has less than four hours to live.

    "He doesn't make too many mistakes. He seems to understand when patients are about to die," Dr. David Dosa said in an interview. He describes the phenomenon in a poignant essay in Thursday'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 illnesses.

    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

    She was convinced of Oscar's talent when he made his 13th correct call. While observing one patient, Teno said she noticed the woman wasn't eating, was breathing with difficulty and that her legs had a bluish tinge, signs that often mean death is near.

    Oscar wouldn't stay inside the room, though, so Teno thought his streak was broken. Instead, it turned out the doctor's prediction was roughly 10 hours too early. Sure enough, during the patient's final two hours, nurses told Teno that Oscar joined the woman at her bedside.

    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 advance 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.

    Nicholas Dodman, who directs an animal behavioral clinic at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and has read Dosa's article, said the only way to know is to carefully document how Oscar divides his time between the living and dying.

    If Oscar really is a furry grim reaper, it's also possible his behavior could be driven by self-centered pleasures like a heated blanket placed on a dying person, Dodman said.

    Nursing home staffers aren't concerned with explaining Oscar, so long as he gives families a better chance at saying goodbye to the dying.

    Oscar recently received a wall plaque publicly commending his "compassionate hospice care."

    Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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    Animals have a very inate sense of things well beyond human comprehension.

    Watch an animal when an earthquake occurs. Or when an owner comes home. A dog will only perk in a certain way when it knows that it is the owner who just got home. Acts differently with other people that approach.

    Dogs are used to detect when their owners will have seizures. Certain breeds of dogs are able to detect cancer in a manner much more sensitive than a CT, MRI, PET scans, or laboratory testing.

    Not that much of a shocker that this cat knows what is going on when you think about it.
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    Default Predicting? Or causing?

    Maybe they were all just alergic to cats?
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    Maybe it's this cat......


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    maybe the cat senses the slowing of the heart rate and lowering of the blood pressure. Either that or that cat is just plain Freaky

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    That's not a tad bit weird now is it!
    If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation?

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    When you think of the cancer and seizure detecting dogs, what the cat is doing is actually understandable. Of course we don't know the how or why's of it yet.

    But suppose for a minute, that the cat started following around not only patients, but staff members that were about to die in a MVA later that day or something Now THAT is the time I'd grab the shotgun.

    Which reminds me...there is a phantom black cat that haunts the tunnels under the Capital building. Any time right before great national distress it shows up. (Kennedy's assasination, and some other stuff.)

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    I hear ya on the "uncanny" bit. Although in this case it relates to my dog. When I let him out in the morning before work, I leave him be until after I've showered and dressed. I step out the door to give him his dog biscuits just before leaving, but if he decides he wants in, rather than stay outside, I dont argue anymore because every time he's asked to come in before I go, we get a huge thunderstorm, usually about 1-2 hrs before I come home. Since he hates them, I know (now LOL) to bring him in. Talk about "weather sense" LOL He's only been wrong twice that I can recall.
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    The nursing home probably bills the patient for a cat scan. . .
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    Quote Originally Posted by ullrichk View Post
    The nursing home probably bills the patient for a cat scan. . .

    "Cat Scan", LOL, ok, that was funny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ullrichk View Post
    The nursing home probably bills the patient for a cat scan. . .
    Well played!!

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    Well about time, 4.6 billion years of evolution and there is finally 1 cat in the entire world with a use...
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    I clearly believe animals have a sixth sense. Just recently, Monday in fact our dog would not leave me wifes side. He followed her everywhere sat next to her put his head in her lap and just would not go away. Later on that night my wifes water broke and lone behold our twin boys were born. Coincidence?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ullrichk View Post
    The nursing home probably bills the patient for a cat scan. . .
    BOOO HISSSS BOOO HIIISSS.

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    This cat is going to start making the patients act like a football player in training camp. They think they are close to getting cut and about to get a visit from the "Turk". They'll start jumping up and closing their door and drop dead from the exertion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McKeesportJeff View Post
    I clearly believe animals have a sixth sense. Just recently, Monday in fact our dog would not leave me wifes side. He followed her everywhere sat next to her put his head in her lap and just would not go away. Later on that night my wifes water broke and lone behold our twin boys were born. Coincidence?

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    i just saw the report about this special cat,yesterday,on tv news and that is scary.this is the cat of death or at least,this cat feels the death.
    "sauver ou périr"

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    I bet if the nursing home ever has to get rid of the cat, they'll be hard-pressed to give it away.
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    When this story first appeared there was all kinds of chatter on the radio about it. And some of the comments were...uumm... dark humour. To say the least. Something about "If the cat jumps on my Mother-in-Law's lap...." ??? heheehehee
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

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    This cat must read Terry Pratchett and gotten ****ed that there was a Death of Rats but no Death of Cats, lol
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    maybe the cat is a serial killer
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    I bet it was this cat..........


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    Quote Originally Posted by RFRDxplorer View Post
    I bet it was this cat..........


    COOL MySpace Comments

    lmao,i can not stop laughing,nice cat but just scary.
    "sauver ou périr"

    "courage et dévouement"

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    I can gaurantee it wasn't the sort of pussy the 90 year old bloke wanted on his death bed.
    Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
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