Hospice Cat Cares for the DyingCats are extraordinarily sensitive creatures and can sense things well beyond the range of human perception. A cat named Oscar in a nursing home senses when one of the residents is terminally ill and tries to stay with them during their last hours.
The resident Cat at Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre in Providence, Rhode Island, is named Oscar and he takes his job of caring for the residents very seriously.
Oscar makes his rounds each day and is especially attentive to those who are seriously ill and tries to comfort dying residents in their final hours.
His ability to sense when a resident is about to die caught the attention of David Dosa, a professor at Brown University. Dr. Dosa conducted a study on Oscar which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“He doesn’t make many mistakes. He seems to understand when patients are about to die,” David Dosa told the Associated Press news agency.
When Oscar has identified someone about to depart the staff alert the family. However, not all families appreciate the care Oscar gives and some banish him from the room.
Cats have long been revered and reviled by humans. The ancient Egyptians considered cats to be sacred and afforded them the same mummification and burial rights as humans. In ancient Rome it was a serious crime to kill a cat. Many ancient cultures valued cats for their service in keeping down the rodent population.
The catholic church believed that cats had magical powers and Pope Gregory IX labeled the cat a “diabolical creature”. Upon the popes command cats were nearly extreminated throughout Europe in the dark ages. The consequence was an explosion in the rat population and the death of a quarter of the human population in Europe from bubonic plauge. The current pope is a bit more enlightened when it comes to cats and keeps one at his home in Germany.
Pioneering Biologist Rupert Sheldrake has studied cat sensitvity and has found that many cats know when their humans are coming home and some can sense who is calling on the phone.
The fact is that cats, like most animals, are intelligent, sensitive and compassionate creatures that deserve respect and even admiration. We can learn a lot from animals.
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