" 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 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2005
    star 2
    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 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    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 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 10, 2006
    star 1
    I have stopped watching CNN. They are just a rung below Fox News on the ladder of contrived journalism.
  4. padluv Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 4
    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 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    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 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    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 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 5
    He's devouring the souls as they exit the body. You heard it here first. Evil, evil cat.
  8. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    Burn him @ the stake!!
  9. dizfactor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 5
    Only if he weighs as much as a duck. This isn't Vietnam, Vivec, there are rules.
  10. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    But could we build a bridge out of him?

    Kimball Kinnison
  11. Master_SweetPea Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2002
    star 4
    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 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    KK

    [face_laugh]

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

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    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 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Possible, however a claim of any nature should be studied, not just anecdotal.
  15. Sherylin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2005
    star 2
    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 Chapter Rep Charlotte, NC

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2006
    star 6
    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 Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    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 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Nope, my correct bias is that I'm biased against anecdotal pseudoscience and prefer actual science.
  19. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    I'll laugh when you realize how dull that is, Lowie. :p

    Cats are weird. :p
  20. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Science is dull?
  21. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    No, not allowing your imagination to get away from you is, however. ;)
  22. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    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 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2005
    star 2
    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 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    "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 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2005
    star 2
    [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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