Over the last five years, records have shown that a cat has predicted 50 deaths. His name is Oscar, he lives at the New England nursing home. He was adopted as a kitten at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre in Providence, Rhode Island, which specializes in caring for people with severe dementia.
Dr David Dosa, a geriatrician and assistant professor at Brown University, said that sometimes Oscar proves the medical staff wrong in their predictions over which patients were close to death. Dr Dosa first publicized Oscar’s gift in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007, however since that time, he has “predicted” double the amount of deaths that are about to happen. Because of the way the cat behaves around the about to die patient, he has convinced the geriatrician that it isn’t a coincidence.
Oscar is a tortoiseshell and White cat; it normally spends its time wandering around rooms and only seems to spend time with the patients who have only a few hours to live. If Oscar is outside of the room with the dying patient in, he scratches the door to try to get in. The cat is not alone as the nursing home keeps five other cats, although none of these have ever behaved in this strange way, or any other way that would predict something else!
“When nurses once placed the cat on the bed of a patient they thought close to death, Oscar “charged out” and went to sit beside someone in another room. The cat’s judgement was better than that of the nurses: the second patient died that evening, while the first lived for two more days.
Dr Dosa and other staff are so confident in Oscar’s accuracy that they will alert family members when the cat jumps on to a bed and stretches out beside its occupant.” He explained that “People were actually taking great comfort in this idea that this animal was there and might be there when their loved ones eventually pass. He was there when they couldn’t be”.
Dr Dosa’s book is called, “Making rounds with Oscar: the extraordinary gift of an ordinary cat”, he doesn’t give any strong scientific explanation for Oscar’s behaviour – mainly because there isn’t any… it’s just one of them things. He does put forward that Oscar is able – like dogs, which can smell cancer – to detect ketones, the distinctly-odoured bio chemicals given off by dying cells.
I wouldn’t want this cat to come anywhere near me! Anyway to sum this up, a cat has a 6th sense that can tell when people are about to die… what next?!