Friday, July 27, 2007

Feline as Grim Reaper

Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!
Virginia Woolf (1882–1941), novelist

Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours. His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led the staff to call family members once he has chosen someone. It usually means they have less than four hours to live.
If that cat walked into my room he’d be joining me in the after life.

"He doesn't make too many mistakes. He seems to understand when patients are about to die," said Dr. David Dosa in an interview. He describes the phenomenon in a poignant essay in Thursday's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Doesn’t make too many mistakes. Who the hell cares? With that kind of reputation he’d kill people once he entered the room.

After about six months, the staff noticed Oscar would make his own rounds, just like the doctors and nurses. He'd sniff and observe patients, then sit beside people who would wind up dying in a few hours.

That is probably because they are allergic to the damn cat of death. Scat, get the hell out of here!

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