It's been a hard day, you are not feeling too well, so you lie on your bed and try to relax. Oscar the Cat arrives, hops up on the the bed and joins you, nuzzling you occasionally and purring softly. Does this help? It depends. If you are on the third floor of Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island, it means that you have a good chance of being dead in the next few hours. Oscar usually ignores the residents in the hospice, but something attracts the 2 year-old cat to dying patients, and his presence on the bed of a seriously ill inmate of the hospice is enough of a signal for staff to alert family of their relative's impending demise. It is needed to say that Oscar doesn’t ‘bring’ death to patients, he indicates it. His so called sixth sense remains a mystery but it is believed that he can smell odors given off by dying cells, after all it is clear that animals have a sense of smell that goes way beyond that of humans.
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