Fear the reaper ? Or fear the kitty ?

On the radio this morning, the US correspondant had a story about a cat raised as a pet within a nursing home, who could predict when patients are about to die !   

It sounds a bit kooky – but it’s actually 100% true.    And, there’s even an article in the New England Medical Journal.

Either the cat is listening to the “death rattle” – or can sense biological changes in patients.  

Or – could simply be that the patients are allergic to cats !

Since he was adopted by staff members as a kitten, Oscar the Cat has had an uncanny ability to predict when residents are about to die.

Thus far, he has presided over the deaths of more than 25 residents on the third floor of Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island.

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 has also provided companionship to those who would otherwise have died alone.

For his work, he is highly regarded by the physicians and staff at Steere House and by the families of the residents whom he serves.

Figure 1   He looks sweet and innocent – but – look out for the DEATH CAT !!

New England Medical Journal – A Day in the Life of Oscar the Cat


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