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Do cats have a sixth sense?Posted Friday, July 27, 2007, at 8:15 AM
Yesterday my daughter emailed me a cat story which has since made the news, big time. I hope the Providence Rhode Island nursing home where the cat lives is not deluged with reporters from all over the country!
It seems that a cat named Oscar has a remarkable record in predicting when death is near. In fact, he's being called the "death cat," a rather morbid name for what seems to be a compassionate attitude on the part of a feline. He jumps up on the bed of residents and lies down beside them about four hours before they die. He seems to have "predicted" the deaths correctly in 25 cases in the two years that he's been a companion animal in the facility.
Now the kitty is famous, and we can only hope that this fame doesn't screw up the kitten's "job," which he reportedly takes very seriously.
You can see the story on CNN.com/2007/US/07/25/death.cat.ap/index.html.
It reminds me of my mother's little yellow and white cat named Esmerelda. We nicknamed her "Nurse Maid Cat," because she took diligent care of mom in her last two years of recuperating from drastic cancer surgery.
Esmerelda would come meow at Mom to remind her it was bedtime, and the little cat would lead her down the hall to bed, stopping and looking back if she was slow (which she always was). Esmerelda slept on an old sweatshirt that Mom placed on the foot of her bed.
Whenever my sister packed our mother's wounds, the little cat would sit up by Mom's head and "talk" to her. How my mother loved her!
After Mom died last year, Esmerelda mourned with the rest of the family. It took a long time for her to return to her pre-sick house attachment for my sister.
My own cats seem to know when I'm sick. One year I spent the entire Christmas vacation with some kind of flu bug that knocked me out. My two cats literally camped out on my lap, as I leaned back in my recliner under blankets.
I really do believe that cats (and dogs, too) have a sixth sense that tells them when something is wrong with their humans.
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.