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" When death comes calling, so does Oscar the cat"

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Sherylin, Sep 9, 2007.

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  1. Sherylin

    Sherylin Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Have you heard about it? What do you think?

    http://edition.cnn.com/2007/US/07/25/death.cat.ap/index.html

    "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 the patient has less than four hours to live. The 2-year-old feline was adopted as a kitten and grew up in a third-floor dementia unit at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The facility treats people with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and other illnesses. After about six months, the staff noticed Oscar would make his own rounds, just like the doctors and nurses. He'd sniff and observe patients, then sit beside people who would wind up dying in a few hours. Oscar is better at predicting death than the people who work there, said Dr. Joan Teno of Brown University, who treats patients at the nursing home and is an expert on care for the terminally ill. Oscar recently received a wall plaque publicly commending his "compassionate hospice care."
     
  2. Lowbacca_1977

    Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2006
    I've heard about it, and I think its nonsense and CNN should feel a bit ashamed for running with a story like this, even though toward the end they do have the following:
    People tend to notice the hits and forget the misses and can create what they believe are meaningful patterns out of nothing. Its told in a purely anecdotal basis, which isn't a valid way to argue that a phenomenon is true, and it doesn't look at other potential causes even if there is some sort of correlation.

    Its stories like this that lead to perpetuating illogical superstition.
     
  3. Septhaka

    Septhaka Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Nov 10, 2006
    I have stopped watching CNN. They are just a rung below Fox News on the ladder of contrived journalism.
     
  4. padluv

    padluv Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 20, 2002
    When i heard this story on CNN, i wondered where in the world they got the lead for it...someone called CNN and said, "Um, yeah, so there's this cat that predicts death." It just sounded so crazy I was wondering what producer followed the story...weird.
     
  5. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Hey, this is a cpuple minutes from where I live! It figures that whenever RHode Island is actually in the news, it for some really weird reason.

    Animals have different senses of perception than humans, that's proven. Maybe this also allows some animals to "sense" when death is near, like maybe a body starts giving off a scent when it's near the end of its natural life that humans just can't smell or have been able to detect yet?
     
  6. Mr44

    Mr44 VIP star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    May 21, 2002
    I wonder how the actual patients react to Oscar. I know the article indicated that the hospital hung a plaque supporting Oscar's "compassionate care," but how do people react when Oscar comes around?

    Would be comforting knowing that Oscar seems to predict death, or do patients try and run and hide when he comes around?
     
  7. dizfactor

    dizfactor Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 12, 2002
    He's devouring the souls as they exit the body. You heard it here first. Evil, evil cat.
     
  8. Lord Vivec

    Lord Vivec Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Burn him @ the stake!!
     
  9. dizfactor

    dizfactor Jedi Knight star 5

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    Aug 12, 2002
    Only if he weighs as much as a duck. This isn't Vietnam, Vivec, there are rules.
     
  10. Kimball_Kinnison

    Kimball_Kinnison Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2001
    But could we build a bridge out of him?

    Kimball Kinnison
     
  11. Master_SweetPea

    Master_SweetPea Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 18, 2002
    I think I remember some stories a few years ago about service dogs that can predict seizures.

    It's possible that Oscar the cat smells something or senses something.

     
  12. DeathStar1977

    DeathStar1977 Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 31, 2003
    KK

    [face_laugh]

    Who knew you had a sense of humor? ;)
     
  13. Kimball_Kinnison

    Kimball_Kinnison Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 28, 2001
    As I've said before, it was surgically removed when I became a mod. Fortunately the moderator insurance plan pays for humor restoration surgery once you step down.

    Kimball Kinnison
     
  14. Lowbacca_1977

    Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Possible, however a claim of any nature should be studied, not just anecdotal.
     
  15. Sherylin

    Sherylin Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Well, may be that's because you don't like cats. :)

    [image=http://216.77.188.54/coDataImages/p/Groups/30/30688/folders/232364/1819379kissy.gif]
     
  16. Jada

    Jada Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Call me Looney [really, please do] but I do buy the story. I think animals know when something is going on with the humans around them. I had a cat that knew when someone wasn't feeling well and would go to them and "lay paws" on them. A friend had a sprain ankle and he laid down next to her and gently rubbed her foot. Another one had TMJ and he rubs her jawbone.

    If dogs can predict seizures then I will gladly believe that cats can predict the upcoming death of a nursing home patient.

    LOL @ Kimball [face_laugh]
     
  17. ShaneP

    ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    This is an old story. Didn't the cat turn up dead after the story ran in the media and press?

    I think it did. Poor pooti-tat. :_|

    Taken out by the senior nursing home mafia.
     
  18. Lowbacca_1977

    Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master star 6

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    Jun 28, 2006
    Nope, my correct bias is that I'm biased against anecdotal pseudoscience and prefer actual science.
     
  19. DarthBoba

    DarthBoba Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    I'll laugh when you realize how dull that is, Lowie. :p

    Cats are weird. :p
     
  20. Lowbacca_1977

    Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master star 6

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    Jun 28, 2006
    Science is dull?
     
  21. DarthBoba

    DarthBoba Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jun 29, 2000
    No, not allowing your imagination to get away from you is, however. ;)
     
  22. Lowbacca_1977

    Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master star 6

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    Jun 28, 2006
    i find what science finds, and suggests, to be more than fasinating enough to require going with fully made up things.

    example, speculation on life elsewhere in the universe is fascinating, imaginative, and can be scientific.
     
  23. Sherylin

    Sherylin Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    I like cats, and I think thay though the above "news" may not entirely be true (from your "scientific" point of view), the cat is still a good animal. Not only dog is human's friend.

    [image=http://216.77.188.54/coDataImages/p/Groups/30/30688/folders/232783/1817409kittenblue.gif]
     
  24. Lowbacca_1977

    Lowbacca_1977 Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2006
    "scientific" really shouldn't be in quotes.
    Its an accurate and real term.

    Though I'd agree with the quotes on "news" because this isn't news, its old wives' tales being treated as news by a source thats supposed to be reputable. No offense to any old wives that may be present.
     
  25. Sherylin

    Sherylin Jedi Youngling star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    [face_laugh]

    That was funny.

    I agree, the topic I started about Oscar the cat wasn't serious or scientific. I'm sorry.
    Sometimes people are in need of a laugh, you know...
     
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