“Oscar is not the friendliest cat.”
Which is a strange way of saying that Oscar is actually the most awesome cat to ever walk a hospital ward, and perhaps, even the world!
Staff at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island thought he was just a regular therapy cat. You know, just another average Fluffy McFluffins, with a penchant for being standoffish when he wasn’t being a rambunctious little hoot.
But, it turned out that Oscar was hiding a secret gift underneath that scruffy veneer of grey and white grey fur.
Oscar certainly came across as a bit unfriendly, which isn’t exactly a desirable trait for a therapy at a dementia unit.
David Dosa, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine at Brown University and a geriatrician who worked with patients at the Steere House, said:
“He’s become a little more friendly over time. When he first arrived here, you would have trouble finding him and that’s what made his eventual behavior even more remarkable.”
Staff at the hospital got the sense that Oscar was always nowhere to be found, unless it “was time” for him to do his thing.
This adorable long-haired kitty makes his rounds around the ward just like a nurse, and pops into everyone’s room to check in on the 40+ patients on the floor. But then he goes back into hiding to do his usual cat business, whatever that may be.
But, when he senses that someone is nearing the end of their life, then he’ll hop into their bed and comfort them in their final hour of need.
Dr. Dosa admits that everyone was pretty skeptical at first, and he even flat out said that Oscar was an unremarkable cat in every capacity of the word.
Except, he was totally wrong.
It turns out that Oscar’s deep compassion, and his ability to hold vigil at the most important time in a person’s life, is nothing less than extraordinary.
This not only makes Oscar more remarkable than most cats, but also more caring than some humans, too!
“He will come into a room, he has been known to jump on the window sill and sit there for hours on end. Occasionally, he will jump up on the bed and curl up next to a patient and he’ll be there until the very end.”
As Dr. Dosa mentions in the video below:
“Dementia takes so much from the patients. But, it’s really the caregivers at the end that suffer most.”
Making the rounds with Oscar is a way for the caregivers to tell the story, too.
“It’s the story of all of the difficult decisions that are made, it’s the story of all the guilt and of all of the emotions that are brought out at the end of life. But, it’s also the story of the care that people receive.”
Oscar is a precious gift unto himself, and there’s a reason that this angel kitty was put here on this earth – to love and provide comfort to those who truly need it.
He honors the presence of those who need it the most, at a critical time when they probably would have passed away all alone.
Check out the video below to find out more about this amazing cat! And be sure to comment if you have a remarkable cat story, too.
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