Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oscar the Cat With the Extraordinary Gift

Oscar the cat is still doing what he does best, and that is to be with a patient as he or she is about to die.

Oscar lives on the third floor of Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island, and he has made his home there since he was two months old.

In 2007, Dr. David Dosa, a geriatrician at Rhode Island Hospital and an assistant professor of medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, both in Providence published an article in the Massachuttes Medical Journal about Oscar’s apparent ability to predict when someone is about to die. Oscar was two years of age when the article was written.

Last night, Dr. Dosa was a guest on Coast to Coast AM Radio with George Noory. He has now written a new book, Making Rounds With Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat.

He stated that Oscar is not particularly a friendly cat, and in some ways seems to be a loner and stand-offish, that is until Oscar “knows” a patient is close to death, within hours or less. The doctors and nurse, and even families, view Oscar’s behavior as almost an absolute indicator of impending death, and this indicator even then allows the staff members to notify families to come.

Oscar climbs upon the bed and stays with the patient and even once swiped at Dr. Dosa when he came near. In one sense, Oscar “keeps guard,” in another, gives companionship so those dying are not alone. Even if the patient is unaware of the presence of Oscar, it seems to not matter at all to the cat. He is doing what he does best, to be present as a person makes his or her transition to the other side.

Oscar will stay there, curled up on the bed along side the patient, long before the chaplain is called and he does not leave until death comes....

Hanging on the wall on the third floor of the Steere Nursing Center is a commendation from the local hospice agency, engraved with these words: “For his compassionate hospice care, this plaque is awarded to Oscar the Cat.”
He’s psychic, he has to be. And he’s an angel.and he is doing the job of an do we know that he is not in telepathic communication with the dying patient who may have one foot in this world and the other foot in the nonphysical world. And hey, maybe Oscar, who has four feet, has a couple of feet there on the other side, getting everyone together to welcome the new arrival.

My cat is psychic so I understand, and many of us have had pets that know if are sick, or sad, or need some reassurance that we are loved unconditionally. You’ve experienced that, haven’t you?

What I find so unique about Oscar, is that during normal days when no one is on the verge of death, he minds his own business and does not care to be around people much, and often hisses at anyone disturbing him or coming too close.

But then he knows when it is time...
He knows his job awaits him, yes, it is time.


1 comment:

Nancy said...

He has an important job. Bless his tiny little heart.