Oscar the grim reaper kitty

I don’t normally post about many news stories, but this AP article caught my eye. I mean, between the cute kitty and WTF (seriously, WTF?) angles, it was kind of hard to pass up:

What an interesting story. Can these all be coincidences? The article offers a few theories, but I think I prefer the spooky-cat-with-morbid-intuition explanation. It’s just more entertaining. :smiley:

I think I’ve found my next summer study project.

Could lend credence to the idea that it’s possible to “smell death.” Are there any studies or preexisting knowledge on this?

OTOH, the fact that this was a noteworthy story, while so many nursing homes and hospitals across the nation have resident pets, makes me wonder if this isn’t some random fluke or coincidence.

I knew it.

The kitty is eating their souls!

That was a pretty well-written article. I expected a pure fluff piece, instead, it was actually researched and detailed.

According to Terry Pratchett, cats can see Death and Death likes cats, he probably brings the kitty a treat every time so that’s why Oscar hangs out with the dying.


The article suggested that it might be that Oscar likes the electric blankets the sickest patients sometimes get. Perhaps it’s even simpler: Dying people move less than everyone else, but they’re pretty much as warm.

I was thinking that same thing!

Wonder if Oscar spends much time playing with the Death of Mice?


Rats. If you call him the Death of Mice you’ll give him a complex…

I didn’t read the article (I will after I post) but I have a theory (but it’s not bunnies). There is a school of thought that says animals can read auras. A soul escaping from its corporeal bounds could give off a very strong, very appealing (to Oscar, anyway) aura (I remember MAD magazine’s send up of Love Story in which Ali McGraw got prettier the sicker she got - and that’s how Ryan O’Neal knew she was going to die)

off to read the article now
eta: done reading article - I stand by my theory

Um… Yeah.


I gotta say, if I was a patient in that place and the cat camped out near me, I’d be screaming for the nurses to get him out of there!

Dogs are often trained to detect when a person’s about to have a seizure, so it’s not too surprising that the cat could detect that someone’s going to pass.

And some dogs apparently can detect some cancers by smell. Maybe there’s some kind of subtle odor released by someone dying like that, which starts hours before death.

And apparently it’s pleasant to his nose! :eek:

I’ve always known cats have one eye in the other side…

Seriously, put me in the ‘odor of death’ camp.

The cat knows a potential meal when he sees one.

Well, they did say that Oscar isn’t a people-cat, mostly. Maybe he’s gloating?

“This one’s almost ready!”

‘Curls up next to’ or ‘sits on their chests breathing deeply’? :dubious:

Only for a short while… :eek:


Dead people smell pretty bad. I’m sure this is half the reason we bury or burn them.