Since then, Oscar has doubled his predictions to 50. But the staff of the hospice, particularly Dr. David Dosa, want the world to know it's not as ominous as it may sound. The experience shared between them, patients, and family members is nothing short of remarkable, although Oscar's methods are surely more natural than supernatural.
Dosa said there is no scientific evidence to explain Oscar's abilities, but he thinks the cat might be responding to a pheromone or smell that humans simply don't recognize.
(He) recounts one instance when staff were convinced of the imminent death of one patient but Oscar refused to sit with that person, choosing instead to be on the bed of another patient down the hallway. Oscar proved to be right. The person he sat with died first, taking staff on the ward by surprise.
Dr. Dosa hopes to educate people about terminal illness, with a little help from Oscar's story. "I wanted to write a book that would go beyond Oscar's peculiarities, to tell why he is important to family members and caregivers who have been with him at the end of a life."
Link Photo credit: Dina Rudick/Globe Staff