Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The furry reaper

There was a story a while back about a cat that could predict when someone was going to pass to the great beyond.
The cat was a resident of a nursing home and would cuddle next to someone during their last hours on this earth.
It was also the most feared animal that ever walked the planet.
How would you like to be taking a little snooze and look down to see the furball of death cuddled up next to you? That alone would probably induce a fatal heart attack leading to the kitty prophecy coming true.
It would seem Oscar the cat, a.k.a. The Furry Grim Reaper, made 50 correct calls over the span of five years.
Dr. David Dosa was so amazed with the cat, he wrote a book about Oscar.
I think the book is called 'Keep that damn cat away from me,' or something like that anyway.
According to the news report, '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."
That sounds pretty good actually, unless of course you are a cat hater, then it is probably not the best way to say farewell to these earthly shackles.
It also might not be the best plan for people who are allergic to cats either, but it is still a pretty amazing ability.
So how does Oscar do it?
Beats the hell outta me.
The good doctor doesn't know why either. All he can says is Oscar does it with amazing accuracy. He suspects Oscar might be able to smell the dying cells or something, but cannot prove how Oscar does what he does.
Somehow the cat just knows when someone is about to go on the final journey and is so accurate, staff notify family members when they see Oscar cuddle down with someone.
Dosa said most people are too sick to even know the cat is there, but still, laying in bed and looking up to see the gray and white tabby walk in your room...Well let's just say you might want to cancel your dinner plans.
Dosa said they placed Oscar in the bed of a patient who was gravely ill, but the feline took off and refused to stay.
Upon seeing the commotion the patient sat up and blurted, “Get away from me, I was just napping. Doesn't anyone around here know how to take a pulse?”
OK, I made that part up, but according to Dosa the patient rallied for a few days before passing, and yes, Oscar did return to be with the person for their last few hours on this earth.
While the residents and their families may be enjoying the efforts of Oscar the death-predicting cat, there is one resident who does not: the dog, because every chance Oscar gets, he sneaks in and curls up beside the hound when he is sleeping.
The dog is not dying or anything, Oscar just likes to freak him out.
A cat with the gift of prophecy and a sick sense of humour, just what the world needed.
OK, I made that part up as well, but the part about the feline predicting someones passing is based on actual events and an actual cat.
Oscar lives in the United States where he is watched closely by doctors and residents alike – some with interest others with nervous anticipation.
I wonder if just before Oscar passes, a resident will curl up next to him.

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