Mar 18, 2010

Oscar the Cat

Oscar the cat is the subject of a book written by a nursing home doctor. And why exactly would a doctor be writing about a cat? Because this cat has a very special talent: he can predict when people are going to die. Oscar lives in a nursing home in Providence, Rhode Island and has, within the last five years, correctly predicted the deaths of 50 (rather unfortunate, if you ask me) residents. Earlier in his career as the feline Grim Reaper, Oscar was featured in the New England Journal of Medicine for curling up with 25 patients, all right before they passed away. The nursing home has given him a plaque commemorating his compassionate hospice work.

I have to say, if I worked at that nursing home I'd be afraid to even rest my eyes for a moment on my lunch hour because I would freak if Oscar curled up with me for my cat nap. And thank god Maia Louise is virtually indifferent to all of us here at home. I'm not sure I could handle her having this "special talent" or anything even remotely like it. How can anyone spend any time- and do it calmly- with any animal that can accurately predict the deaths of those around it? I know I couldn't. Some may see it as gently compassionate but to me it's just scary as hell.

Making Rounds With Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat, Dr. David Dosa, Hyperion, 2010.

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