One time, the nurses preempted Oscar and placed him in the bed of a man they were sure would die that day. Oscar was indignant and would not stay with the man. The nursing staff thought Oscar had lost his touch. However, it turns out, Oscar was more perceptive than the medical professionals and the patient lived a few more days. But true to form, in the man’s final hours, Oscar jumped up on his bed without prompting and held his bedside vigil.
Now, of course, one must challenge cause and effect and wonder if somehow Oscar the cat was snuffing out his patients! Imagine if you were “coincidentally” present at 50 death scenes….would law enforcement not raise an eyebrow? Fortunately, there is no evidence that Oscar is doing anything but bringing comfort to people in their last dying hours.
Over the years, Dr. Dosa grew extremely fond of Oscar and became truly convinced that this tortoiseshell cat has a unique intuitive knowledge about death that was escaping even the best doctors and nurses. In 2010, Dosa published a book entitled Making Rounds With Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat. At that time Oscar had correctly predicted 50 deaths. In the book, Dosa recounts stories of families who embraced Oscar and his unique ability.
Dosa hopes that while reading Oscar’s story, people will also learn more about terminal dementia and end-of-life-care, a subject that is obviously uncomfortable for many people. “End of life care is an important topic now as the health-care reform debate goes on,” Dosa says. “This book gives an inside look at how one works with families at the end of life – what they experience and what their thought processes are. And,” he adds, “it is much more readable and approachable because there is a cat involved.”