It is currently Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:17 am



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Cat can sense when nursing home patients are about to die
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 1:42 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:45 pm
Posts: 106
PROVIDENCE --Oscar the cat makes his grand entrances just as life is about to leave.

A hop onto the bed, a fastidious lick of the paws, then a snuggle beside a nursing home patient with little time left. Oscar's purr, when keeping close company with the dying, is so intense it's almost a low rumble.

"He's a cat with an uncanny instinct for death," said Dr. David M. Dosa, assistant professor at the Brown University School of Medicine and a geriatric specialist. "He attends deaths. He's pretty insistent on it."

In the two years since Oscar was adopted into the third-floor dementia unit of the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, he has maintained close vigil over the deaths of more than 25 patients, according to nursing staff, doctors who treat patients in the home, and an article in tomorrow's New England Journal of Medicine, written by Dosa.

When death is near, Oscar nearly always appears at the last hour or so. Yet he shows no special interest in patients who are simply in poor shape, or even patients who may be dying but who still have a few days. Animal behavior experts have no explanation for Oscar's ability to sense imminent death. They theorize that he might detect some subtle change in metabolism -- felines are as acutely sensitive to smells as dogs -- but are stumped as to why he would show interest.

"It may just come down to empathy," said Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman, a leading behaviorist and professor at Tufts University's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, when told about Oscar's eerie knack.

In any event, when Oscar settles beside a patient on the bed, caregivers take it as sign that family members should be summoned immediately to bid their loved one farewell.

"We've come to recognize him hopping on the bed as one indicator the end is very near," said Mary Miranda, charge nurse in the Safe Haven Advanced Care Unit, the formal name of the surprisingly cheery floor that is home to 41 patients suffering in the final stages of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, stroke, and other mentally debilitating diseases. "Oscar's been consistently right."

Said Dosa, who treats patients at Steere: "This is a cat that knows death. His instincts that a patient is about to die are often more acute than the instincts of medical professionals."

Oscar's tale is emphatically not one about people dying alone and neglected, with only an animal for company. The Steere staff has a reputation among geriatric professionals for dedication, compassion, and top-notch care. The center is sunny, clean as, well, a cat's whiskers, and filled with antique furniture, flowers, and nature prints that impart the feel of a cozy country home.

"Caregivers are always there trying to make the patient comfortable until the very end," said Brenda Toll, a registered nurse and unit manager. "But Oscar's a component of dying... It's kind of weird, but kind of lovely. He's become part of the death ritual, along with lowered lights, aromatherapy, and gentle music.''

Keeping pets has been a trend in nursing home care for several years. The Steere Center, founded in 1874, has 120 residents, plus six cats, a slew of parakeets and a floppy-eared rabbit.

Oscar's sole domain, however, is on the locked dementia ward. He came to the unit as a kitten in July 2005, brought by a staff member to replace the floor's previous resident feline, Henry, who had died some months earlier.

A gregarious cat, quick to solicit ear scratches from a visitor, Oscar can be clownish at times. "Just go and try completing a medical form when Oscar's near enough to whap the pen," laughed Dr. Joan M. Teno, professor of community health at Brown and associate medical director of Home & Hospice Care of Rhode Island, an agency specializing in end-of-life care.

But it is Oscar's keen sense of impending death, not his occasional kittenishness, that has made the mixed-breed cat legend.

Source : <a href="http://www.boston.com/yourlife/health/aging/articles/2007/07/25/feline_intuition/ class="otherlink" target="_blank">the boston globe"</a>


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 1:45 pm 
Offline
Someone Very Strange
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:02 pm
Posts: 152
Heard about this this morning it was interesting to see.


wolf

_________________
http://uk.geocities.com/theguidingpath/
http://z10.invisionfree.com/Psychicparanormal
Forum for Paranormal and psych phonomena Group based in UK. Midlands


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 1:53 pm 
Offline
A Ratty-Tap-Tap
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:43 pm
Posts: 2975
Location: tyne & wear
yeah it is interesting

_________________
KRIS
One of the Founders of Paranormal UK

The truth is out there to be found - you just got to look for it.

kris@paranormaluk.co.uk
Paranormal UK


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 2:25 pm 
Offline
Stone Thrower
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 10:49 am
Posts: 3787
Location: Tyne and Wear
yep good read , strange eh :wink:


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 12:06 am 
Offline
A Stiff

Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 11:00 pm
Posts: 1262
seen this on the news pages , cats being guardians of the underworld i'm not suprised really. :wink:

_________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/OrbioneKenobie

All the latest goings on are viewable here.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:36 am 
Offline
Someone We Know
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:47 pm
Posts: 43
Cats have been a part of death scene for thousands of years. The Egyptians are a prime example of this. They're also a mainstream link with certain types of folklore...

ever wondered why a cat will sleep or rest near your mouth? .. warmth?


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:59 pm 
Offline
Guest Investigator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:22 pm
Posts: 296
Location: catterick village
Great story.... animals seem to have some sort of sixth sense, cats especially.

_________________
NGI Scientific Investigator

sharon@northern-ghost-investigations.com
http://www.euphoria4u.com


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:01 pm 
Offline
Amatuer Investigator

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:37 pm
Posts: 500
spooky

I never want a cat to snuggle up near me lol

_________________
NGI Investigator

carl@northern-ghost-investigations.com


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 7:15 pm 
Offline
A Ratty-Tap-Tap
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:43 pm
Posts: 2975
Location: tyne & wear
lol carl, not all cats do that ya dafty :roll:

_________________
KRIS
One of the Founders of Paranormal UK

The truth is out there to be found - you just got to look for it.

kris@paranormaluk.co.uk
Paranormal UK


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:40 pm 
Offline
Amatuer Investigator

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:37 pm
Posts: 500
all cats are evil :evil: :twisted:

_________________
NGI Investigator

carl@northern-ghost-investigations.com


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:51 pm 
Offline
A Ratty-Tap-Tap
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:43 pm
Posts: 2975
Location: tyne & wear
ya ain't said that about our cast but i have passed the message on to them and they have started to sharpen their claws ready for your next visit :wink:

_________________
KRIS
One of the Founders of Paranormal UK

The truth is out there to be found - you just got to look for it.

kris@paranormaluk.co.uk
Paranormal UK


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 8:54 pm 
Offline
Amatuer Investigator

Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 6:37 pm
Posts: 500
thanks mate

I will make sure I am prepared next time I am there

_________________
NGI Investigator

carl@northern-ghost-investigations.com


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Theme designed by stylerbb.net © 2008
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
All times are UTC [ DST ]