From the Daily Mirror.
Oscar is a 10 year-old- tabby cat that has predicted the deaths of more than 100 patients in Steere House, Rhode Island, USA. He is generally an anti-social cat but he becomes very loving and personal when someone is going to die.
Staff and doctors at the Rhode Island centre are baffled by Oscar’s natural ability to seek out the dying and offer them much-needed comfort and support. The talented puss has even proven medical staff wrong on several occasions of which patients were close to death.
His gift was first revealed in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 and since then he is believed to have presided over the deaths of around 100 people.
Oscar could always sense when one of the residents at the nursing home where he lived was near death and would sit quietly on their bed during their last moments.
One relative of two sisters who died in the nursing home said of Oscar’s vigil, “Oscar’s presence gave a sense of completion and contentment. Both women loved pets. Oscar brought a special serenity to the room. What’s more peaceful than a purring cat? What sound more beautiful to fill one’s ears when leaving this life?”
The author of the report, Dr David Dosa told Mirror Online: “He only comes to the ‘end of life’ patients who are near death, I think he is attracted in some capacity to them.
“I think he probably is responding to a pheromone or a scent.”
He wrote in the report: “His mere presence at the bedside is viewed by physicians and nursing home staff as an almost absolute indicator of impending death, allowing staff members to adequately notify families.”
Oscar also offers much-needed comfort to the terminally ill residents who would have otherwise died alone.
Dr Dosa said: “Lots of families have told me that having Oscar around is a great comfort for them and their loved ones.
“Whether it’s just cuddling up to people who are alone or keeping children busy, it’s really something that the families were grateful and thankful for.”
The tables turned in November 2013 when Oscar suffered a serious allergic reaction and he was taken into intensive care, where his heart stopped beating and he died for several seconds.
But luckily, quick-thinking vets managed to revive him and he was taken back to the nursing home where he became a patient for a few months.
These days Oscar is back to full fitness and has resumed his role comforting patients near the end of their lives.
Dr Dosa added: “Oscar is doing well and still comforts patients from time to time. He is a real miracle.”