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Book profiles furry angel of death: Oscar the cat

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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 04:47 PM
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Book profiles furry angel of death: Oscar the cat
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_DEATH_CAT_DOC...

Jan 31, 2:12 PM EST

By RAY HENRY
Associated Press Writer

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- The scientist in Dr. David Dosa was skeptical when first told that Oscar, an aloof cat kept by a nursing home, regularly predicted patients' deaths by snuggling alongside them in their final hours.

Dosa's doubts eroded after he and his colleagues tallied about 50 correct calls made by Oscar over five years, a process he explains in a book released this week, "Making Rounds With Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat." (Hyperion, $23.99) The feline's bizarre talent astounds Dosa, but he finds Oscar's real worth in his fierce insistence on being present when others turn away from life's most uncomfortable topic: death.

"People actually were taking great comfort in this idea, that this animal was there and might be there when their loved ones eventually pass," Dosa said. "He was there when they couldn't be."

Dosa, 37, a geriatrician and professor at Brown University, works on the third floor of the Steere House, which treats patients with severe dementia. It's usually the last stop for people so ill they cannot speak, recognize their spouses and spend their days lost in fragments of memory.

He once feared that families would be horrified by the furry grim reaper, especially after Dosa made Oscar famous in a 2007 essay in the New England Journal of Medicine. Instead, he says many caregivers consider Oscar a comforting presence, and some have praised him in newspaper death notices and eulogies.

"Maybe they're seeing what they want to see," he said, "but what they're seeing is a comfort to them in a real difficult time in their lives."

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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 04:49 PM
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1. Good Kitty
n/t
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 04:54 PM
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2. pretty kitty
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 05:05 PM
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3. I rehabbed a semi feral kitty many years ago
who looked remarkably like this kitty. He was a very dainty sort for a huge tomcat, so I named him Oscar Wildecat. I would clean the semi feral kitties up, get rid of all their parasites, and tame them down around people. I always knew when one found a home because s/he would disappear for a few weeks and then come around looking fat, sleek and sassy, often with a collar, and spurn the food left out for kitties who still needed a home.

This guy got adopted in record time.

No, it's not the same cat because Oscar had to have been pushing up daisies for at least 15 years before this story came out. However, the looks and the name are so similar it brought up memories of a very nice kitty I once knew.

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Sal Minella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Oscar Wildecat.
Luvvit.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 05:12 PM
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5. Wasn't this covered in an episode of house where those chosen by the death kitty were already dying
and whose beds were therefore being warmed. Kitties like nice warm beds. Seems like a logical answer to me, although not as colorful.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. all the patients are dying in this ward.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. House?
You go to scriptwriters for your science?
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Yes I do since like Law and Order it is based on real cases and not simply made up.
The explanation on that episode is perfectly plausible.
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ellie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 06:53 PM
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9. What a nice, compassionate kitty.
Edited on Sun Jan-31-10 06:53 PM by ellie
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Yavin4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 06:55 PM
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10. Hey Rush Limbaugh!
Would you like a new pet?
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Princess Turandot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 07:11 PM
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11. Here's the article written by Dr. Dosa that the New England Journal of Medicine published in 2007...
the article is free to read. It's quite interesting.

http://content.nejm.org/cgi/reprint/357/4/328.pdf
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musette_sf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 07:32 PM
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12. poor Oscar
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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-31-10 07:33 PM
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13. House Episode...
:P

They already did this on House.
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