I read an interesting article this morning on CNN (the link is provided at the bottom). In Providence, Rhode Island there is a nursing home, Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, that houses a cat in it’s dementia ward. The cat, Oscar, has a very bizarre connection with the coming of death for the patients in the nursing home.
So far there have been roughly 25 cases in which Oscar has gone into a patients room, laid down on their bed (curling up with them as well) and waited for their death. It seems he knows when they are going to pass, and they usually do.
The staff has gone to great lengths to start calling families of patients when Oscar arrives in their room, to let them know their loved one is on the way out of this life.
For years now we’ve heard about cancer sniffing dogs and stuff like that, but this is the first I have ever heard of an animal that can actually sense the impending death of a person. Could Oscar in a way be a Bodhisattva (one who vows to keep being reborn to protect/ help others)? I think he could be.
Think about it, maybe this person at the home is suffering so much, and is hhoping that death comes so they don’t have to suffer anymore. What a great thing to see Oscar come trotting your way. It could very well bring these people piece of mind, and maybe their families as well. The end of suffering, via Oscar the cat. Or, as I call him, Oscar the Bodhisattva.
They have even given Oscar and award for his compassionate hospice work!