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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Grim Kitty

Run if you see this cat coming. He is the Reaper, predicting imminent death among nursing home residents. Fans say Oscar the Cat provides invaluable company to sick people on their last leg.

Researchers say Oscar has a perfect track record determining who's about to die. Usually two - four hours prior to death he goes and hangs out bedside in the rooms of sick residents until they pass away. He is currently featured in a medical journal article about his prognosticating abilities.

I've had a problem with cats for years. I don't believe that whole black cat superstition. And I do have my own cat at home now, and half the time she's fun to be around. But as I've written before while I've never been attacked by a dog, I had my forearms shredded as a kid by a neighbor's crazed cat. I was like 8 or 9. I was walking down the sidewalk enjoying a Popsicle or ice cream cone, or something like that. And the cat came tearing off the neighbor's porch, claws out, fangs bared - jumped on me, and proceeded to swat and scratch away. Left me bloody, terrified, and running like OJ through the airport in a Hertz commercial. Not a good scene. I laughed later, but it took a few days. And my laugh, upon recalling the memory, was more like the shrill cackle of Miss Havisham.

So I say Oscar, the Angel of Death, is a glass-half situation. If you believe he just goes to these sick patients' rooms by divine ordination to comfort these people and "escort" them to the other side, then the glass is half full.

But, if like me, you suspect Oscar may be wearing a figurative black cape and carrying a sickle and sending the nursing home residents to the other side, then the glass is half empty.

Either way, unless you're certain, don't turn your back on Oscar.

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14 Comments:

  • had a cat called shifty at our nursing home. He was black, he could predict it too...death that is. And also, one of the lady residents, she could also predict it... unreal...for real

    By Blogger Cazzie!!!, at 1:59 AM  

  • you know the old wives tale? That cats suck the breath out of babies?
    Thats what he's doing, when no one is looking - to the old folk. (;

    My cat knows when a thought passes through my head about getting out the hair ball remedy.
    She's outta there.

    By Blogger Pamela, at 2:03 AM  

  • The home also tends to put electric blankets on the old folk who are near death. The cat is looking for the warm. THis is all bogus.

    By Anonymous og, at 8:08 AM  

  • Not sure if Oscar is assisting the dying as much as fulfilling his own bit of curiosity to keep seeing the angel of death. I also think you've read too much Christopher Moore. Maybe this makes me just half?

    By Blogger My Reflecting Pool, at 11:15 AM  

  • I believe in the prescience of animals, especially cats. It's a fascinating story.

    It seems clear that other animals have talents that we human animals lack.

    By Blogger heartinsanfrancisco, at 12:36 PM  

  • I had a cat who could predict her dinner time. Yeah, every time she'd circle her dish and meow like there was no tomorrow, sure enough she would get fed soon after.

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 2:47 PM  

  • Once I receive my mortician's license I am going to need this cat. I will ask him to train an army of cats just like him to sniff out potential clients.

    By Blogger Queen of Dysfunction, at 3:49 PM  

  • I read about this cat on Urban Legends. Pretty interesting!

    Also, if you have a cat have Mrs. B talk to her OB/GYN about Toxoplasmosis and what she needs to know.

    If you should feel so inclined, stop by and cheer me on tomorrow as I blog for a cause.

    By Blogger Dayngr, at 4:56 PM  

  • I read about this too... I think it's amazing and I'm not sure why he knows... But I've also heard of dogs being able to seem cancer on people so maybe its a similar idea??

    By Blogger Erica AP, at 5:43 PM  

  • Hm... the link doesn't seem to work any longer?

    By Blogger fiwa, at 6:56 PM  

  • Just make sure your breathe right strips are secure while you sleep...

    By Anonymous Kim, at 9:16 PM  

  • You know James, when I saw this on t.v. I thought, "I would kill the cat - he would not be able to sit on my bed, ever!" : )

    By Blogger Angie, at 3:05 PM  

  • My Laotian friend is afraid of my black cat - she says that black animals can sense the dead.

    By Anonymous Karmyn R, at 7:42 PM  

  • I guess that I have had just the opposite experiences than you have. I was bitten by a German Shepard going for my throat at age 8, after I was playing with it in front of its owner; but I'm still not afraid of dogs. I adore cats.

    I had surgery on my left arm for a broken humerous, and my cat stood over me (you have to sleep in a recliner) when I came home from the hospital.

    I had a third of my colon removed in May, and when I got home, my cat sat on my head when I went to bed, then sat guard next to me all night for a week.

    By Blogger The CEO, at 1:31 AM  

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