An upscale nursing home in Rhode Island is home to a cat that can sense impending death, the Boston Globe reports. Oscar, whose domain is the dementia ward, shows little interest in patients who are ill but not dying. But when he curls up in a bed, the patient usually dies within hours. Caregivers take Oscar's cuddling as a signal to call loved ones.
When shooed from the room by family members, the cat rubs the door, demanding to be let back in. "As a scientist, I want to offer a biological explanation for this, but I can't," said one doctor. The geriatrician who reports the phenomenon in today's New England Journal of Medicine says simply: "This is a cat that knows death."