Oscar's amazing, and a real blessing in particular for those people crossing over without any family there.
Cats are both intuitive and sympathetic (I believe even the most aloof are secretly sympathetic), and I've noticed over the years that when my mother is ill (I take care of her because she has heart problems), at least one of my cats will give her extra attention. Sinbad, while she was still here, then Tiger, and now Frosty.
A scientist named Rupert Sheldrake has written a fascinating book about his studies of animals' intuition or psychic abilities. The book is Dogs that Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home
(subtitled "And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals"), and you can read a review of it here:http://www.workingdogweb.com/DogsThatKnow.htm
A lot of cats are mentioned in the book, too, and I was amused to read that vets report cats are particularly good at sensing when their owners (whoops, make that "staff") are planning to take them to the vet, and disappearing.
Sheldrake's website ishttp://www.sheldrake.org/
and he has links to his papers on unxplained powers of animals on this page:http://www.sheldrake.org/Articles&Pa...als/index.html
By the way, I don't think Oscar is the first cat living in a hospice or nursing home who's been seen giving special attention to patients who are very close to death. I have very vague memories of seeing a story about another such cat on a TV news magazine many years ago -- this could very well have been back in the 1980s; I don't think it was any earlier than that -- but I don't recall which nursing home it was, or which TV program (most likely Dateline or 20/20), and I'm sure there wasn't anything on the program about anyone having kept exact track of how good the cat was at realizing which resident or patient was close to death. It's great that Oscar's behavior has been so well documented by a physician and the nursing home staff.