Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat Audiobook | David Dosa | Audible.com
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Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat | [David Dosa]

Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (127 )
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  •  
    Chelsea Wilmington, NC, USA 02-05-10
    Chelsea Wilmington, NC, USA 02-05-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very -touching"

    Death and aging are often difficult topics to breach, and hard to write about in a manner that is both sensitive, yet lighthearted. Strange mix, I know. Dr. Dosa's writing deals with both in a very sensitive and touching manner. Throughout the story, I learned about a lot more than a really neat cat, although that was my initial reason for reading this is the first place. I learned about people's experiences with death and dying as well as their experiences with aging. It encompasses a wide variety of topics and does so in a manner that gives the reader a feeling for the amount of respect which Dr. Dosa has for all the people (and animals :) ) in the book. It's written in a very personal tone, and I think that really adds to the already extraordinary story of Oscar. Beside the tough topics of death, aging and illness, the author manages to put in some lighthearted anecdotes which lift the mood when appropriate. It's a very well balanced book-not overwhelmingly depressing, but very touching. It's a great story if you are interested in amazing animals. A well done book. I highly recommend this title to people of all interests. The narration is also very good-hard to "put down," so to speak. Enjoy!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith Jacksonville, FL, USA 06-07-10
    Judith Jacksonville, FL, USA 06-07-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Excellent Book"

    As a cat lover, I was drawn to this book, but did not expect it to be both entertaining and informative. It exceeded all expectations. I would recommend it to everyone, not just cat lovers.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonnie Panama City, FL, United States 05-02-10
    Jonnie Panama City, FL, United States 05-02-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Great book!"

    This book was more than just a good cat story. It had a full range of characters and emotions in the setting of a nursing home. It will make you laugh, cry, wonder, and best of all just enjoy the story. This is a definite 5ive.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra Oceanside, CA, United States 10-25-10
    Debra Oceanside, CA, United States 10-25-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Best read"

    I have been with audible.com for years and this book gets my 5 star stamp. (I haven't bothered writing a review on of the others.)

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mama C San Juan Capistrano, California United States 12-23-10
    Mama C San Juan Capistrano, California United States 12-23-10 Member Since 2008
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    "Worthwhile Read"

    I had read about Dr. Dosa and the cat who could sense when a resident of the nursing home was about to die, but I didn't realize that this book delves into the stuggles the family members go through as they watch their loved ones lose their memories. Dr. Dosa has written a very engaging book, and I recommend it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jackie Ogden, UT, United States 03-13-13
    Jackie Ogden, UT, United States 03-13-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Oscar is more of a background character"

    This is more about how families, nurses and the doctor care for people with severe dementia. Oscar is more of a background character, but it adds interest. How can he know when someone is about to pass away? There was a lot of information on Alzheimer's disease and how it affects the caregivers and families of the patient. I learned a lot from this book, even though it is a little depressing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan Edgewater, MD, United States 02-10-14
    Joan Edgewater, MD, United States 02-10-14 Member Since 2000
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    "Not what I expected"
    If you could sum up Making Rounds with Oscar in three words, what would they be?

    Alzheimers victims dying.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    I was not really happy that the focus was not on Oscar, the cat everybody knows. The author briskly turned aside to focus on family misery about their loved ones and his own thinly disguised skepticism (after he saw Oscar in action). I firmly believe animals have certain powers, even if it's based on smell, as is intimated about Oscar. I have read animal stories much more animal-centric and still interesting. Maybe there is a need for a book about Alzheimers sufferers, of which I expect to become, but I was not ready to read about them now. Denial? Perhaps. But I wanted to read about a cat who allowed people a little time to meet their maker... evidently it was just a matter of a cat liking the "death odor" and snuggling up to those who provided it. Boo.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana Antelope Valley, CA, United States 01-24-14
    Diana Antelope Valley, CA, United States 01-24-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Human lives connected by an extraordinary cat"

    Dr Dosa writes of his experiences in a care facility for people with dementia, and Oscar the cat threads in and out of the lives of the patients, their families, and the staff. He has taken on, somehow, the responsibility of being with the patient as their life comes to an end, and his presence has comforted their family members during the vigil at the end.

    The stories are meaningful, and Oscar's behavior is mysterious and wonderful.

    While Dr. Dosa was telling of the people with dementia, and his own health problems, I kept remembering another audio book I listened to by another doctor, called GRAIN BRAIN, where the author/doctor made almost miraculous improvements in people's health by having them remove grains, or grain related products from their diet.

    How many people will be able to avoid dementia, thus the effect on their families as well, by being aware of the hidden inflammation in their brains, nervous systems, organs, digestive system, and joints caused by all the wheat, gluten, etc. in our food system?

    In Grain Brain, the doctor told of even abnormal behaviors, such as nervous tics, or outburts, being caused by grain or grain-related products - people who were on pharmaceutical products of all kinds were able to be weaned off of them because once they stopped eating foods that caused negative effects, they got better. Sometimes amazingly quickly.

    Since a great many people with some genetic heritage from Europe are negatively affected by grains, if you read Dr. Dosa's book about Oscar's role in the final days of people with dementia, please consider then reading GRAIN BRAIN as well, while the effects of dementia are still fresh in your mind. The emotional devastation of watching a person lose their memory, as Dr Dosa shares, as well as the physical and financial toll it takes on caregivers and family is terrible. That it may be preventable with simple dietary changes is tragic if people don't know that.

    Making Rounds with Oscar is a moving book, well told, and because it tells us how hard it is to have a person lose their memories, it will hopefully motivate people to learn that it is possible to prevent some of this with nutrition and elimination of certain foods (GRAIN BRAIN, as well as other books on the effects of food on the brain and body)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan E. Shepard Houston, TX, USA 12-25-13
    Susan E. Shepard Houston, TX, USA 12-25-13 Member Since 2013
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    "An amazing book!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Making Rounds with Oscar to be better than the print version?

    Yes.


    What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He brings emotion to the story. How he reads the book, and the voice inflections he uses, makes you laugh or cry, depending on where in the book you are. He humanizes it. And this book benefits greatly from that!


    Any additional comments?

    Some of the stories in this book are very hard to hear. Dementia is a *horrible* disease, both for the person, and for their family & friends. But throughout this book, interwoven amongst all those hard stories, are positive notes. One is Oscar himself. And another is the author, as he looks for proof (and finds it) and journeys from disbelief towards belief.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Glen Gardner, NJ, United States 06-12-13
    Karen Glen Gardner, NJ, United States 06-12-13 Member Since 2008

    Likes: Cozy mysteries, esp w/cats, books on workings of the brain/autism, not-too-dark fantasy. Dislikes: Animal cruelty, torture scenes.

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    "Interesting story of dementia, and a cat"
    Any additional comments?

    Making the Rounds with Oscar is about the nursing home cat with the eerie talent of showing up as residents died. I liked this book. Some things were a bit odd, like why it was written by Dr. David Dosa. He was there of course but he so wasn’t a cat guy. In a way it goes to show how amazing Oscar is because he convinced this non cat guy of his skills, but I think a cat loving author would have made it more enjoyable for me. Dosa has a sort of suspicious attitude towards cats, interpreting normal cat actions in a negative way that I didn’t like too much. But overall I liked the book. Possibly this is because I find the topic of dementia interesting, but if you don't you might want to skip the book So something of a rough topic, but a good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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