Do you remember a show on Showtime called "Dead Like Me"? It was a favorite of ours, a great show about... grim reapers. The concept is the reapers must take the souls of people before the actually die so they can "move on". I know, it sounds grim, but the show was anything but.
Anyway, there was an article published in, of all publications, The New England Journal of Medicine about a cat that lives at a nursing home in Providence, Rhode Island. I thought it was odd that a nursing home would own a cat, but then I remembered that animals do have a therapeutic affect on the elderly. And I thought it was VERY odd to have a story about a cat in The New England Journal of Medicine.
But, you see, Oscar lives on the third floor - the dementia unit.
Oscar goes on his own rounds each day... he has his own schedule, and he MUST visit each patient. If a door is closed, he waits to go in. He jumps onto the bed of each patient and surveys them. Most times after his survey he will jump down and move on to the next bed.
But, there are times when Oscar will curl up beside the patient.. and wait.
The staff knows that if Oscar is found laying next to a patient, they have to act quickly. The staff will start making phone calls. To the family.
Because, within about 4 hours, the patient will be dead. Oscar keeps them company until they pass. The staff calls the family to inform them that the time has come and gives them the opportunity to be with the patient for the last time.
When the patient takes his last breath, Oscar gets up, looks around, and leaves.
Coincidence? Look, I would say that... but if it happens a few times, you start to wonder.
But this cat has done this... 25 TIMES.
If anyone ever saw "Dead Like Me", you'd be convinced Oscar was a reaper.
The New England Journal of Medicine - A Day in the Life of Oscar the Cat