We have all heard of cats and dogs that seem to know things that humans don’t. The dog that is unusually fretful just before an earthquake strikes, the cat that starts meowing loudly at the exact time that his owner is involved in an accident miles away and so on. The guinea pig that mysteriously manages to predict the winner of every Super Bowl. But here is a new one, a cat that knows when you are go belly up like a goldfish in a bowl full of cyanide. Providence, Rhode Island, is home to a therapy cat called Oscar, who resides at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and who, despite a complete lack of medical training, seems to have the uncanny ability to predict the death of the establishment’s patients.
According to Dr. David Sosa, an assistant professor who works at the center and who wrote about the case for the prestigious The New England Journal of Medicine, Oscar has some sort of sixth sense that tells him when someone is only hours from death. Oscar roams around the facility visiting patients and if he senses that the person is not long for this world he jumps up on the patient’s bed and goes to sleep. Usually, the patient is dead within a few hours. This may not seem to be a very nice thing for such a cute kitty to be doing, but it does allow the ill person and their relatives to say their final goodbyes, and the staff takes the cat’s predictions so seriously that if they spot him in someone’s bed they immediately call the patient’s relatives.
Uncannily, Oscar will stay with the dying person till they pass away, then he will leave quietly. If he is not allowed to stay with the patient due to protests from the family, he will pace fretfully outside the patient’s bedroom door and meow loudly until the patient is dead. Strangely enough, Oscar isn’t exactly a people kind of cat, he apparently only likes people who are about to die, which seems rather creepy to me. It’s like he’s a feline Grim Reaper, hanging around the place only to collect the souls of the dead.
So how does Oscar do it? Scientific explanations usually involve conjecture that the cat can detect odors that accompany imminent death. But while there is no doubt that many animals can indeed detect odors that humans can’t, this does not explain why, of the several animals living at the hospice, Oscar is the only one who is able to see death’s dark
shadow looming over its elderly patients. There is of course, a darker explanation to this phenomenon — Oscar is a serial killing bastard who knows when these people are going to die because he’s the one killing them! Like those serial killer nurses you some times hear about except cute and furry instead of plain and stern.