Oscar the cat has a very special skill. An otherwise ordinary cat—he'd sooner give you his back or a sideways glance than curl up on your lap—Oscar has the uncanny ability to predict when people are about to die. Adopted by staff members at Steere House nursing home when he was a kitten, the three year-old cat has presided over the deaths of more than twenty-five nursing home residents thus far. His mere presence at the bedside is viewed by physicians and nursing home staff as an almost absolute indicator of impending death – a blessing, really, because it allows staff members to notify families that the end is near. Oscar is highly regarded by the physicians and staff at Steere House and by the families of the residents whom he serves because he provides companionship to those who would otherwise have died alone.
When Dr. David Dosa, an attending physician at Steere House, wrote about Oscar in the New England Journal of Medicine, the response was tremendous, with coverage everywhere from Today to People to CNN. Now Dr. Dosa expands his story, using the cat and the stories of several patients to examine end-of-life care as it exists today. Heartfelt, inspiring and sometimes even funny, it allows readers into a world rarely seen from the outside and often misunderstood.
©2010 David Dosa (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Heartfelt, inspiring, and sometimes even funny, Making Rounds with Oscar allows readers into a world, often misunderstood, that is rarely seen from the outside as a doctor looks at family and companionship through the life lessons of the elderly – and one remarkable cat.
“Oscar captured my heart, and Dr. Dosa opened my mind. This extraordinary book offers a physician's perspective on death and dying, as well as insights on family love, companionship without question, and the life lessons that only the old can provide. As if that weren't enough, it proves the old adage: there are no ordinary cats.” (Brenda Copeland, editor)
"[The] book, both touching and humorous, isn’t just about Oscar. It’s about listening and letting go." (Craig Wilson, USA Today)
Top 5. Need more Oscars in nursing homes. Comforting for patience and their families.
Takes himself and his percieved responsibilites seriously. He is like the quiet hand helping them make their final journey.
His determination not be pushed away from where he knew he was needed. Also, I have an elderly mom (90) it helped me to understand where she was at emotionally. I don't get as frustrated any more I just think Oscar! And I know she can't help what she does and says.
The most touching was when the jewish couple had their anniversary and the husband had to face the fact that the wife he loved was no longer able to connect with him. I think he went home and died of a broken heart. He was trying to hold on to the memory of her for so long. I think her reaction to him was quite a shock. One he never got over.
Would have loved to YES. My daughters and I all read it as a family book club book. We all enjoyed Oscar very much.
Are there anymore follow on books to Oscar or MiMi at Steere House?
I might think so - I always think the inflections on the authors voice really adds to the overall experience of story.
OSCAR of course!
He was great - he really had a wonderful way of changing up his voice...very good!
OF COURSE I cried. It brought back memories of my grandmother and the horrible experiences I had with her...BUT if she would have had animals to love in her facility she might have been happier.
I truly believe every facility SHOULD read this book! Then take a real good look at bringing animals to comfort their guests! I truly believe animals have a gift and I am SO happy people are bringing it to the public's attention!
This is more than a book about a remarkable cat who senses those who are about to die and accompanies them. It's about a physician who works with staff to escort these individuals during the final days of their lives and how they try to offer the best possible care. It's about living with dementia . . . and loving the person who
This is a must read for anyone who has a parent or spouse suffering from dementia. The author, Dr. Dosa, serves on the third floor of a nursing facility which made the choice of having pets to provide socialization and company to the patients. While Oscar, one of two cats on the third floor, is the central thread of the story, the take away is the decision making that is required by the relatives or spouse of the patient.
The insights provided by the author in assisting the decision making as to the level of care, and the guilt and confusion associated with these decisions, are invaluable. But even more important, are the reflections by the relatives in interviews taking place after the patient has passed away.
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