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Cat's "Sixth Sense" Predicting Death?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Can some cats predict when a person is dying?
Maybe they can...
" Oscar has 'presided over' the deaths of more than 25 residents."
Read this fascinating article published July 25th.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/...r=HOME_3097899
post #2 of 13
what on earth has made you say that?!
post #3 of 13
Scratches head... is that a joke... or?

Anyway, I think it's amazing. People have some ability to tell when a loved one is dying, so it isn't too much of a stretch to imagine that a cat, who is so much more in tune with everything around it and has senses much different than ours, can tell.

I think it is lovely that he tries to comfort them in their last hours. I wonder if he knows that the nurses call the family when he declares he knows?
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
Scratches head... is that a joke... or?

Anyway, I think it's amazing. People have some ability to tell when a loved one is dying, so it isn't too much of a stretch to imagine that a cat, who is so much more in tune with everything around it and has senses much different than ours, can tell.
Exactly! You often hear of people on this site saying that their cats can sense when they are not feeling well, so why not this?
post #5 of 13
I read about this earlier on the BBC website and I think it's amazing. It just gives me more proof that cats are wonderful, intuitive, intelligent, caring creatures.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catnip View Post
I read about this earlier on the BBC website and I think it's amazing. It just gives me more proof that cats are wonderful, intuitive, intelligent, caring creatures.
I second that, and third it, and fourth it, etc.

I could have added a whole lot more good things about cats, but my time is limited.

Edited to add: Cats don't have a vile bone in their body; humans do.
post #7 of 13
Assuming you're not joking... it is apparent that you haven't read the article. He jumps onto the bed, curls up next to them, and hangs out for several hours as they slip away. It is safe to say that there is no accidental unplugging and there's no crime.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Oscar is a hero...
What a calm, peaceful way to go....
Meow
post #9 of 13
Funny this came up, since when I rescued a kitten over the last weekend, my husband seriously said he thinks cats can read your energy or aura, since this little kitten came right for me. All my cats know when I dont feel well, they come and sit next to me.
post #10 of 13
I seriously doubt it as the warning beeper would have went off to alert the nursing staff.
post #11 of 13
I was watching my local news last night and saw a story about this cat.

I work at a nursing home and unfortunately I see a lot of human death all the time. Usually, but not always, the staff knows when death is near because there are physical signs that are obvious to us. However, sometimes the death of a resident is so sudden that no one sees it coming and we're all completely shocked by it. If I'm understanding the story right, these are the deaths that Oscar is predicting, and I would say he is probably going by a sense of smell.

FROM THE ARTICLE:
Quote:
Three animal behavior experts say the explanation about Oscar sensing a smell associated with dying is a plausible one.

"I suspect he is smelling some chemical released just before dying," says Margie Scherk, DVM, president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, an organization devoted to improving the health and well-being of cats, and a veterinarian in Vancouver, British Columbia. "Cats can smell a lot of things we can't," she says. "And cats can certainly detect
illness."

"Cats have a superb sense of smell," adds Jill Goldman, PhD, a certified applied animal behaviorist in Laguna Beach, Calif. In Oscar's case, she says, keeping a dying resident company may also be learned behavior. "There has been ample opportunity for him to make an association between 'that' smell [and death]," she says.
post #12 of 13
A friend of mine sent me that article. Interesting. Maybe it's smell

My Dad spent the last 3+ years of his life in extended care. The facility has cats. This is the little purrson "on staff" on his floor; her name was Shaughna.



She was a real little sweetie, visited everyone, loved scritches, etc, etc. She had 75 people to look after, so you might not see her for several days, and we hadn't for some time, the day Dad died. They offered us a private room for the last hours, which we knew were upon us. We were barely -- and I mean BARELY -- settled in the new room, when Shaughna marched in, selected a chair, got up and just lay there watching and snoozing. I went over for a scritch once or twice. She accepted but never stirred. When Dad had gone, my brother and sister-in-law went out for a smoke, and I sat with Dad. They were barely out the door, when Shaughna got down from her chair across the room, came over and got up on me, and proceeded to purr up a storm, while she sucked on my shirt -- all attentions she had not offered ever before. Nobody can tell me she didn't know exactly what was going on.

I told one of the nurses about it, and she said, "Oh, yes, she does that every time."

Dumb animals, eh? I don't think so.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
What a wonderful story Fran.
Without a doubt, cats are aware of much more than most people realize.
We know though, don't we.
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