SYDNEY – Oscar, a cat living in a U.S. nursing home could sense when someone was going to die. Dr. David Dosa said he hopes his newly released book, “Making Rounds With Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat” will put the cat in a more favorable light as well as providing a book to help people whose loved ones are terminally ill.
How do they know that this cat has “sixth sense?”
When Oscar was about six months old the staff noticed that he would curl up to sleep with patients who were about to die.
So far Oscar has accurately predicted about 50 deaths.
Dosa said there is no scientific evidence to explain Oscar’s abilities, but he thinks the cat might be responding to a pheromone or smell that humans simply don’t recognize.
On one day,when staff were convinced of the imminent death of one patient but Oscar refused to sit with that person, choosing instead to be on the bed of another patient down the hallway. Oscar proved to be right. The person he sat with died first, taking staff on the ward by surprise.
Dosa hope his book could be a little more approachable because there is a cat in it. He tries to get rid of this myth that they are horrid factories where people go to die.”
Oscar has even been thanked by families in obituaries for providing some comfort in the final hours of life.
“The first time I met Oscar he bit me. We have warmed over the years. We have moved into a better place,” said Dosa.
“I don’t think Oscar is that unique, but he is in a unique environment. Animals are remarkable in their ability to see things we don’t, be it the dog that sniffs out cancer or the fish that predicts earthquakes. Animals know when they are needed.”