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back to article Cat senses impending death

A cat in Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island, appears to sense when one of the elderly residents is about to die, Reuters reports. Oscar has been at Steere House for two years, during which he's settled down beside 25 old timers shortly before they passed away. Dr Joan Teno, a professor of …

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I see something very tragic here. Very tragic indeed.

It's called beating a dead horse, and you lot are doing it with your terribly repetitive jokes.

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Sam
Bronze badge

Cat needs a bed

Clearly the cat is just trying to get the bed before another old codger arrives

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Re: ooo - magic cat

"'From what is being reported, Oscar only visits patients that later will die. It is not like it randomly visits patients and some of them die.'

Erm... don't we all die?

And if it is only being allowed in to see the ones in imminent death.. then it doesn't have any say in the matter - so no special powers need apply?"

Mr. Hall, are you just trying to splice hair?

Make my above sentence "that die soon after" and note that the cat apparently can roam rather freely in the nursing home.

And if you go nitpicking about this any further, I will see that Oscar pays a visit to you.

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There is one more thing

Beside all the arguing how the cat senses it, if we take that for granted by now, there is one more question: Why does it feel obliged to stay with the dying patients?

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Silver badge

Science doesn't know

If cats can smell when people are going to die then why haven't scientists managed to make a electronic sniffer that can do the same thing? This will become the standard "scientific" explanation for this story though because it sounds reasonable.

Likewise, showers of frogs or fish, relatively frequently reported, are supposedly caused by waterspouts that suck the animals up, though we have no evidence that that's what happens.

Though the simplest solution is the most likely, the most likely solution isn't definitely the correct one.

Without proper analysis of when the cat goes where, we're all just guesing. Be honest, we don't know if the cat senses death and if it does, no one knows how. It's fun to guess though. (i'm torn between "it's people's perceptions" and "the cat sees the reaper" myself...)

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Anonymous Coward

I don't know about you....

..but I'd stay the fuck away from that cat!

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Rather comforting, really

I hope I have a cat like this around when my time is up (assuming I survive to old age). It would be nice to know I have a few hours to get things in order and say goodbye.

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Living in a box

Cats? Death? Old folks home (box)? Hmmmmmm, how do I know it really happened unless I can see it?

:p

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Anonymous Coward

Get the damn cat away from me !

get it away .. GET IT AWAAAAAY . Aarrgllll ( dies of heart-attack )

thats how cats get a bad name...

besides who says the cat isn't a shape shifting wizard ... anyone read harry potter lately ?

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Nev

Cats steal your breath while you sleep...

...don't these supposed "doctors" know anything?

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Anonymous Coward

Necrophiliac cats

I always felt there was something not right about cats.

This particular one should be apprehended immediately and rendered to the appropriate authorities. I am sure the Jesuits still know how to work a rack to save a life, and it would be most interesting to find out who eventually is exorcised. (Probably the DoD).

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xjy

The pleasant face of death

Most commenters haven't noticed that at least one granny welcomed Oscar as helping her to go to heaven.

Death is often a welcome caller. People get tired of fighting to live. Maybe the cat feels the inner peace radiating from those about to die and quite ready for it.

We can at least be sure that there are lots of signals - chemical and behavioural - that are too subtle for most of us to catch (ie we´ve unlearned how to be conscious of perceiving them) but that are plain as day to animals tuned to those particular vibrations.

If I don't have pussy when I go, then I'd like a kitty, please!

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Les Matthew - ouch

Not sure why I kept reading the comments, but glad I did... could hardly breath for laughing.

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Couple of points not mentioned in the article

Mentioned elsewhere is the cat only tends to hang out with people in the last two or four hours of their life. It doesn't tend to be social normally, so it doesnt appear that its just getting lucky.

As for the 'seeing why everyone is gathering around grandma' again it seems to be in the other direction in a number of cases. Rather than the family coming for the final hours and then the cat showing up, the cat would show up and then the nurse would call the family. Want to talk about a freaky phone call? 'Hello, the cat of doom has said your relative is about to snuff it, can you make it over quickly?'

As for the scared to death argument someone mentioned it is a dementia/alzheimer's ward and the staff are under the opinion the dying generally never know the cat is there. This one I do think is a bit open to question, but even if they know its there they may not be aware of its cat of doom status.

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Anonymous Coward

Faster pussycat. Kill, Kill!

That's a pretty impressive cat with good intuition then, but I wonder what it thinks it is doing?

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It's not what you think

Cats look for places to lie up during the day if disturbed they will go elsewhere and not come back they sleep a lot most of the day and in

your house they are constantly being annoyed in this case no one bothered him there since people generally won't go long without disturbing the cat if they are even slightly mobile even if asleep he more than likely watches for a bit if nothing moves even a hair he settles in until people once again chase him out. Or he could be the spirit of death I know I wouldn't want him in my room "shoo scat I am not ready to go".

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Anonymous Coward

Cause and effect

Cats are evil creatures, and vermin.

If all the people that the cat sits upon die, then it is killing them. That's how cause and effect works.

Its probably carrying a virus from one of its bird victims that it repeatedly passes on to its human ones.

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Silver badge

Cat and Mouse game?

My cat is often seen alongside a dead mouse, and sometimes next to a mouse that will shortly be dead. I wonder if this is coincidence?

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What about the dog?

Is there any truth in the rumour that the nursing home is bringing in a Labradour Retriever to check on the elderley residents as well.

That way they don't just rely on the CAT scan, they have Lab reports too.

Hey and please show some respect. Don't call them Wrinklys. Ageism is as offensive as racism to us old people.

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Anonymous Coward

and to Oscar goes to...

Anyone accepting the bet?

And bring that beast to a vet for health check.

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Kevorki-cat is only offering assistance.

My greatest fear is of becomming to feeble minded to pull the trigger.

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Anonymous Coward

Comedy Gold

Just think of the pranks you could do!

- You could drug the cat and curl it up on someone else's bed while theyre having an afternoon nap.

- You could put catnip on somebody's clothes and watch them panic as the cat follows them around all day.

- Maybe you could bring an Alsatian to guard your bed?

- You could sew a toy mouse to somebody's slipper and watch them run around as the cat attacks their ankles

- You could kick the cat every time you see it so it wont come near you, although it might just follow you out of spite...

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Anonymous Coward

More Comedy Gold

- If you look on the beeb's article it says the moggie 'meows in protest' if its removed from its intended prey. You could burn a cd of a cat meowing and play it on loop outside one of the rooms with the door closed

- Tell you what though, i wouldnt like to be the vet that has to take this kitty's temperature! Guaranteed you wouldnt outlive the day!

- Imagine filming a documentary about it, all of a sudden this otherwise unsociable cat gets pally with the cameraman, you wouldnt want to fly home would you?

- One final thought, who will the moggy turn to when its final hour comes? will it just sit on an empty bed hugging itself and looking uneasily at shadows?

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Anonymous Coward

Where does it sleep?

You have to wonder if the hospital staff have thought of pooling together and getting it a little coffin shaped box to sleep in for dramatic effect.

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Law

erm - i know

Cat Allergies??

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This is what made me truelly love cats..

I am in no doubt that this happened and that the cat somehow knew.

When my grandfather was in a home there was a little white cat that used to wonder round the place.. it always used to come and visit the patients daily, it used to nap on their beds and cuddle up to them and in the evenings it would go back to its bed in reception..

There was a man that was in the bed next to my grandfather, who during the night took a turn for the worse, while his family were away on vacation, the cat stayed on the bed with him all night (which it never normaly did).. i truelly believe that the cat was looking after him, protecting him, giving him company when he had no body.. and that night the man passed away and he wasnt alone.. and this wasnt the only person in the home that this happened to..

Shame on anyone to call cats vermin or pests, they are much better than people could ever be.. if you had been in that cats position, would you have stayed with a stranger all night on his death bed or would you have walked away and left it to somebody else?? i can guarantee the answer from majority of people!

Look after the cats that look after you - visit www.catsprotection.co.uk

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What a gift!

I'd certainly want a cat like that. After I got it I could give it to someone I dont like as a present

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