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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Cat Whose Company May Be Your Last

posted by on July 25 at 15:42 PM

From the AP:

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.

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Have they tried removing the cat to see if maybe then the patient wont die?

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 25, 2007 3:48 PM

@1, HAH! They should try that, though ... maybe he's Death in Cat's Clothing.

Posted by arduous | July 25, 2007 3:51 PM

If you read the story you'll see that one family didn't want the cat in the room so they put it outside and shut the door. The cat then paced and meowed outside the door until the patient died.

You can't cheat death. Meow.

Posted by monkey | July 25, 2007 3:58 PM

Cat lovers will see this as sweet and cat haters will see this as horrible.... I'm more toward love than hate, but I can see the sense in running some tests on this cat. Maybe it has a mutation where the allergenic protein in its dander is more potent than usual and causes cardiac arrest in the infirm, or there's some other X factor here. Worth looking into.
Or for cost effectiveness, just assume he's trouble and don't let him sleep with the patients.

Posted by christopher | July 25, 2007 4:00 PM

I'm in ur bed, watchin u die.

Posted by Seth | July 25, 2007 4:01 PM

@seth- LOLz, yo.

Posted by christopher | July 25, 2007 4:03 PM

They should have named him Morty.

Posted by monkey | July 25, 2007 4:03 PM


Then throw the cat out the window. If the cat dies, who knows, maybe all of its future victims may live. That cat is up to no good I tell you! Unless it's pwning Conservatives. Then we shall clone it. Like, a lot.

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 25, 2007 4:05 PM

@seth...oh yes! Score.

Posted by gnossos | July 25, 2007 4:05 PM

Rhode Island - bah!
Wish it was in Seattle.
Would've loved to do a photo-documentary piece on THAT.

Posted by Katia Roberts | July 25, 2007 4:07 PM

This is exatly the sort of liberal hatespeach I'm rallying against. Mr. Poe.

Posted by Bill O'Reilly | July 25, 2007 4:08 PM

I know. The kind of hate speech (left) that's like the kind of hate speech (right) you aren't rallying against. Forgive me.

Oh, and then, like, die.

Posted by Mr. Poe | July 25, 2007 4:14 PM

How man other people die without the cat present? Its a nursing home after all... it is where we send the old to die.

Posted by J | July 25, 2007 4:19 PM

Can we have them give this cat to Bill O'Reilly?

Posted by CodyBolt | July 25, 2007 4:34 PM

oh my god seth. i haven't laughed that hard at a slog comment probably ever.

Posted by kate | July 25, 2007 4:40 PM

Doesn't surprise me that the cat can smell death. Some people say they can, too. It's also been proven that dogs can smell cancer months before tests pick it up (google it if you don't believe me; it's out there).

The way I see it, unless alergic to cats, it'd be nice to have one with you in your final moments, as opposed to alone in the nursing home.

Posted by Dianna | July 25, 2007 4:40 PM

Seth @5 FTW! (high fives)

Posted by Callie | July 25, 2007 4:42 PM

I sees almost dead peoplez!

Posted by Special K | July 25, 2007 4:49 PM

I thought it was impossible for me to despise cats anymore than I already do. I was wrong.

Posted by Matthew | July 25, 2007 4:52 PM

If that cat came up for pets, I'd be like, well guess its time to start the wake. If that cat brought me a dead bird, I'd shit my self to death.

Posted by The Peanut Gallery | July 25, 2007 4:57 PM
21 sad, how sad. An empathic animal extending it's love and companionship in the time of need and all it gets is jokes, ridicule and hate. Stupid humans - when you are dying you will regret your comments. Cats know.

Posted by crazycatguy | July 25, 2007 5:24 PM
Posted by Callie | July 25, 2007 5:36 PM

YEAH @5/Seth, you totally nailed it bwahaha

Posted by fun shaped | July 25, 2007 6:00 PM

Have they sat and watched the cat to make sure it doesn't devour their soul at any point?

Posted by Tony | July 25, 2007 6:28 PM

here's the "day in the life" article from the new england journal of medicine:

Posted by josh | July 25, 2007 6:36 PM

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I'm a Seth @ 5 Fangirl.

Posted by JessB | July 25, 2007 7:47 PM

the families should be happy! That cat is saving them money!

Posted by FS | July 25, 2007 9:33 PM

Heeere, kitty-kitty...

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | July 25, 2007 11:27 PM

@Seth: I know I'm late, but that was the only thing that made me laugh today. I hope someone gives you an award for 'funniest Slog comment.'

Posted by Justinius | July 26, 2007 12:54 AM

Tony @24: Every time the cat leaves a dead person, it weighs 27 grams more.

Posted by Luke McGuff | July 26, 2007 9:01 AM

I'm with 21. I think it's both sweet and useful. The dying person has some companionship, regardless of whether they have family or not and families get a bit of immediate warning to prepare.

Honestly, it's the sort of thing that makes me feel all warm inside.

The only thing I wonder is where it sleeps on days when no one dies?

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