Extraordinary Cat Senses When Death is Near For Nursing Home Residents

April 28, 2011
The Eden Alternative

Don’t miss this amazing story at ChangingAging.org — I’m sure many of us in the Eden family have similar stories from some of the amazing animal companions in our lives.

Most cat lovers claim their felines have a second sense when it comes to sensing the emotional/physical state of humans. In my family’s case, our cat Daphne never fails to jump on the lap of anyone in the house who starts crying or seems upset.

Perhaps the most famous example of feline sensitivity is Oscar, an extraordinary Tabby cat who lives in a nursing home and can tell when people are about to die.

If you haven’t already heard of Oscar in the news you will soon see him on the big screen in a film adaptation of the New York Times bestseller MAKING ROUNDS WITH OSCAR: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat, by geriatrician Dr. David Dosa.

Dr. David Dosa runs a 400-500 patient primary care dementia clinic in the outpatient setting at Steere House in Providence Rhode Island and every day Oscar joins him to make the rounds on the third floor where terminally ill residents live. In an email sharing Oscar’s story with ChangingAging, he described what happens next:

A few hours before a resident passes away, Oscar climbs onto his or her bed.  He purrs and refuses to leave until the patient dies.  His predictions are always right-he never lingers unless the person is within a few hours of death.  His unusual talent provides an early warning system, giving caregivers precious time to alert family members that their loved one is near the end of life.  Steere House residents and their families are grateful to Oscar for the comfort and companionship he provides during this difficult time.

Many ChangingAging readers follow the Eden Alternative philosophy, which strongly encourages introducing animal companions to nursing home residents. Do any of our readers have similar experiences they can share?

Meet Oscar:



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