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Oscar the Cat: Grim Reaper or Angel of Mercy?

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.”

Read more: Behavior & Communication, Cancer, Cats, Feline Muse, Pets, ,

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Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual destinations. Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete, as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue center.

261 comments

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12:35AM PST on Feb 27, 2013

Amazing. Animals are simply amazing gifts

3:26PM PST on Feb 25, 2013

I´ve heard about such a cat before, don´t know it was Oscar or not. What ever he is, I hope, no one beliefes, the presence of a cat could cause a death.

7:57PM PST on Feb 23, 2013

I think this is a wonderful story, and I am glad most people see Oscar as a little furry blessing. Seriously, if he was trying to snuff people, he could just sit on their face with his fuzzy butt! (Sorry!)

3:17PM PST on Feb 23, 2013

You believe what you want to believe but if you cannot see that this is a little Angel of mercy, I fear for you in your last moments.

It is easier to explain everything as common science instead of taking it as a blessing of the heart.

But blessings of the heart are easy to adapt to, you just have to open yours!

If more humans took the time to look around, feel the changes and comfort those who are suffering or dying, the world would be a much better place!

At least some of us are opening their eyes and heart, there is hope yet!

5:15PM PST on Feb 5, 2013

I heard about this cat. no matter what he senses, temperature, chemical or carbon dioxide changes, he gives comfort when people need it most. who cares the mechanism, except that it cannot be easily repeated.

6:41AM PST on Jan 31, 2013

Beautiful kitty, thanks for this article..

8:33AM PST on Jan 21, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

2:10PM PDT on Jun 15, 2012

Oscar, like any other animal, is an animal with intelligence, maybe it was the warmth of the bodies it cuddled until the patient passed away, but I bet you if the patient was still here today, or if they could talk from the grave, they would tell you, that warmth of love caressed me, helped me to remain calm and it was a peaceful and loving touch. Animals are truly our angels and they deserve all the wonderful toys, hugs and kisses in life.

10:17AM PST on Mar 7, 2012

So nice when folks help each other out, regardless of species differences. What a good kitty, and I am glad that the home has his assistance in return for their giving him a home -- and apparently, a job. Hope he lives long and prospers in kitty joy.

10:01AM PST on Mar 3, 2012

Cute kitty :3 Meoooooow :)

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