A hospice in Rhode Island keeps a pet cat named Oscar, who, like the doctors and nurses, makes daily rounds of the patients.
But that’s not all Oscar does.
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.
The article linked to, above, tells of his success as a harbinger of death.
Many cats seem to know when their owners are ailing or even out of sorts. The cat we had when my kinds were little, a male, was usually stand-offish — didn’t really like to cuddle or be petted. But whenever I wasn’t feeling well, he would curl up next to me and purr so strongly that I could feel his vibrations in my own body.
Calli, my cat now, a female, loves attention. But the only times I ever saw her try to comfort someone were the two times my mother was so out-of-it that we wound up taking her to the emergency room. Each time Calli kept trying to get into her bedroom (where she knows she’s not allowed) and jump onto my mother’s bed to lie next to her.
I wonder if she’ll be able to tell when my mother’s time comes.