July 27, 2007

Death Cat Is Watching You Die

As most of you already know, I occasionally consult the newswires for ThunderJournal ideas, because I firmly believe it’s my duty to you, my dedicated readers—who have outstanding taste in ThunderJournalists, by the way—to bring you news you may have missed or went unreported in your standard news circles.

Also, I’ve found posting on news that’s already been reported by other people to be a fantastic way to produce a ThunderJournal post without actually having to do all that much work. So, there’s that.

Today, we turn to animals in the news. Specifically, we turn to domestic animals in the news. Even more specifically, we turn to cats. Finally, taking specificity to new specific levels, we turn to Death Cats.

That got your attention, didn’t it?

According to a July 27 Associated Press report out of Providence, Rhode Island, Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours. His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led the staff to call family members once he has chosen someone. It usually means they have less than four hours to live.

Now, my immediate question upon reading something like that is: do the patients at the nursing home know about this, or just the staff? Because, and this is just little old me here, if I was a patient in a nursing home, and there was a kitty reaper roaming the halls, I’d want to know where that cat is at all times, day or night.

After about six months, the staff noticed Oscar would make his own rounds, just like the doctors and nurses. He'd sniff and observe patients, then sit beside people who would wind up dying in a few hours.

As a cat owner myself, I’m kind of torn here. On the one hand, I want to say “awwww, that’s so. . . cute?” But, on the other hand, I know what it feels like to have a cat jump up into bed in the morning and curl up between my legs and, after reading this article, I don’t think I’ll ever have the same reaction to what was formerly kind of a cute routine.

CAT: *hop* *purr* *curl up*

ME: AHHHHHHH! Back! Back! Away with you, vile feline! My time is not up! You shall not take my soul across the river Styx! I have years left in me! Decades! Perhaps even a century, depending on advances in medicine!

Honestly, after a couple weeks of that, I can’t expect my fiancée to stick to our future marital agreements.

And now for the creepiest paragraph in the entire article:

Doctors say most of the people who get a visit from the sweet-faced, gray-and-white cat are so ill they probably don't know he's there, so patients aren't aware he's a harbinger of death. Most families are grateful for the advanced warning, although one wanted Oscar out of the room while a family member died. When Oscar is put outside, he paces and meows his displeasure.

First off, that answers my previous question: No, patients aren’t aware a Death Cat haunts the hallways, selecting souls for its nefarious cat intentions. Secondly, “when Oscar is put outside, he paces and meows his displeasure?” How twisted is that? It’s not enough for Oscar to put his Paw of Death upon the doomed. No, he also just HAS TO BE IN ON THE ACTION or he whines about it.

Okay, I’m obviously mostly kidding here. Oscar sounds like a very sweet, unique cat. It's always the sweet, unique things that end up killing you though.

Think about it.

Posted by Ryan at July 27, 2007 09:59 AM | TrackBack

See, I'm not a bad person for hating cats! The first thing I thought when I heard the story: how many health codes are being violated?
Ryan, here's you chance to get rid of those 'angels of death' you have wondering around your house!

Posted by: Autumn at July 27, 2007 02:01 PM

My theory? The cat's superior sense of smell is detecting the "stench of death."

Make of that what you will.

Posted by: flamingbanjo at July 27, 2007 03:43 PM

Oscar is just like every other cat, except he's impatient when it comes to getting at those fresh souls. Mmmmm, fresh souls are sooo tasty.

What? You didn't think Death Cats ate Friskies, did you?

Posted by: Erik at July 27, 2007 04:08 PM

I know what it feels like to have a cat jump up into bed in the morning and curl up between my legs

This is a metaphor, isn't it?

Posted by: Judah at August 3, 2007 10:58 AM
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