Cat in Rhode Island, USA nursing home 'senses death'

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

At a nursing home in Providence, Rhode Island a cat is reported to be able to sense when elderly individuals are about to die.

The cat, known as 'Oscar' is reported to have sensed the deaths of at least 25 elderly people. According to nursing home employees, Oscar has been living at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for two years and seems to sense the deaths at least two to four hours before they happen, and he is rarely wrong.

"It's not that the cat is consistently there first. But the cat always does manage to make an appearance, and it always seems to be in the last two hours," said professor of community health at the home, Dr. Joan Teno.

Oscar would go from room to room on a daily basis to watch and smell the patients, eventually curling up next to one that dies within a few hours, but since most of the patients he visits are too ill they do not notice his presence.

One veterinarian and expert on cats says that cats and dogs sense things that humans are not able to sense.

"It's such a cat thing to do. Those things are hard to study. I think probably dogs and cats can sense things we can't," said University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, chief of veterinarian medicine at the college, Thomas Graves who also added that he does not believe it has anything to do with being a 'psychic cat' saying "there's probably a biochemical explanation."

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