BBC NEWS | Americas | US cat predicts patient deaths

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/americas/6917113.stm

A US cat that is reportedly able to sense when a nursing home’s residents are about to die is baffling doctors.

Oscar has a habit of curling up next to patients at the home in Providence, Rhode Island, in their final hours.

According to the author of a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the two-year-old cat has been observed to be correct in 25 cases so far.

I don’t doubt the cat can sense approaching death, but is it possible its reputation now precedes it? Old folks’ homes are not exactly populated with people who can withstand huge shocks. What would the appearance of the cat in your doorway do to your heartrate?

I’m reminded of a scene from Prisoner of Azkaban (now, officially, the best book in the Harry Potter series):

“Hermione, if Harry’s seen a Grim, that’s — that’s bad,” he said. “My — my uncle Bilius saw one and — and he died twenty-four hours later!”
“Coincidence,” said Hermione airily, pouring herself some pumpkin juice.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about!” said Ron, starting to get angry. “Grims scare the living daylights out of most wizards!”
“There you are, then,” said Hermione in a superior tone. “They see the Grim and die of fright. The Grim’s not an omen, it’s the cause of death!”

Article stolen from Funky‘s newly update pages. Welcome back, Bubba!

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