Oscar the Death Cat was born in 2005. It was adopted as a kitten along with five over kittens and raised in Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island. The facility is billed as “pet friendly”. In July 2007, Oscar was featured in an article by David Dosa, a geriatrician and assistant at Brown University in the New England Journal of Medicine. According to many accounts of the nurses at Steere House, Oscar has the ability to predict the impending death of terminally ill patients. According to Dosa, this may be due to Oscar’s ability to smell ketones, the biochemicals released by dying cells. It may also have to do with Oscar’s ability to sense lack of motions in patients. Staffs at Steere House explains that Oscar would bury itself next to dying patients and sniff until it falls asleep. Patients would often die several hours later.
Dosa went on to write a book about Oscar in 2010 entitled, “Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat”.