From the Associated Press:
A little creepy. But I don’t think it’s all that unusual. I’ve read and heard stories of animals who recognize when their owners are ill and/or about to die. And we have had pets that seemed to know when other pets were on their way out. I think animals sometimes are more intune to those things.
I do find it interesting that the cat doesn’t seem to like people. I mean – no cats do – but usually they’ll occasionally act like they do.
My cat LOVES people. People always think they’re special because he’ll cuddle with them, even though they’re complete strangers (even complete strangers who hate cats – he doesn’t care). I always tell people he’d love Charles Manson, but … hmm, maybe they were just about to die. I should make some calls.
Interesting. I think I might be able to use this as a storyline for an ep of my show. Great research material. Thanks, Diane!
Aww, I just saw the original medical journal article that insired the AP story. I’m not sure it makes the reaper cat any cuter, but it’s kind of cute that a doctor wrote about him so elegantly in a prestigious medical journal.
Cute.Cats are not all the same .My cat loves people, some others maybe don’t. Who knows? So it’s possible that a cat is far more sensitive than onother (and in general animal are much more sensitive than us in these circumstances, as various articles on medical journals).Anyway, thanks Diane for sharing this news. I read something about it on my local newspaper yesterday, but it was only a small article.Lela
Before I finally managed to find a career where I can use my education, I worked for more years than I care to remember as a nursing assistant in nursing homes, and have a couple of things to say about Oscar and his “patients.”
If Oscar makes it possible for family members to know when their loved one is going to die, so they can say their farewells, that’s a good thing.
An astonishing number of the patients who died while I was on duty died alone. If someone is dying, and no family members are left to sit at the bedside, then having Oscar there as a purring physical presence is a good thing.
During the time I was working at one nursing home, they began bringing a rabbit onto the units. I remember one patient sitting next to the cart on which the rabbit sat, patting it on the head and muttering “Nice kitty, nice kitty.” (Well, at least she knew it was a mammal.)
As to whether cats care about their human companions, a few years ago I made a trip to visit a friend on the West coast. Because of his many health problems, he had been released from the hospital the day before I arrived. While he was lying in bed, still too sick to be sitting up, his cat continually climbed onto his chest and stayed there, even though this was not something she usually did. But I think she knew her human was not feeling well, and wanted to provide what comfort she could.
Creepy, but in a fascinating way. He’s a little cat angel. And Kelly, I think he deserves his own show. If Touched by an Angel can run for like 10 years, Oscar can surely get a couple of seasons.
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