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 The Cat Who Knew Too Much

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PostSubject: The Cat Who Knew Too Much   Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:29 pm

A dose of sentimental claptrap from the New England Journal of Medicine.
By Daniel Engber
Posted Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2007, at 11:38 AM ET
It's been quite a week for the New England Journal of Medicine. In the current issue, we learn that fat is contagious and that cats can sense when people are about to die. Or at least one particular cat can tell. He's 2 years old, with patches of gray and white fur, and he lives in a nursing home in Providence, R.I. "Oscar the Cat awakens from his nap, opening a single eye to survey his kingdom," begins the article, by Dr. David M. Dosa of Brown University. "From atop the desk in the doctor's charting area, the cat peers down the two wings of the nursing home's advanced dementia unit. All quiet on the western and eastern fronts."

Don't be surprised if that sounds a little florid for the nation's leading medical research journal. The story of Oscar the Cat—a feline who cuddles up with patients in the moments just before they meet their makers—isn't a peer-reviewed scientific inquiry, nor is it a clinical report, a case study, or even an editorial. It's a work of creative nonfiction—an uncorroborated anecdote that makes vaguely mystical claims about the cognitive abilities of animals. And it's tucked into a section of the journal that's more often reserved for wonky reviews. "A young grandson asks his mother, 'What is the cat doing here?' " writes Dr. Dosa. "The mother, fighting back tears, tells him, "He is here to help Grandma get to heaven." Let me pose a more modest question: What is the cat doing in the New England Journal of Medicine?

Wed Aug 01 2007 04:48 PM
Itsgottabeu

Gaining credibility, for one thing. Reporters were happy to attribute the news of Oscar's amazing powers to "a new report in a medical journal" by "an expert in geriatric care." ("Cat predicts patients' deaths: scientists," read one headline.) Without his prestigious turn in the NEJM, Oscar might have ended up on the local television news, like the 10-year-old tabby named Buckwheat who sniffs out dying patients in West Seattle. He might even have become as famous as the dog that dialed 911 or the monkey that joined a SWAT team. But after making his debut in the NEJM, he's an international sensation.
http://www.slate.com/id/2171469/?GT1=10346
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PostSubject: Re: The Cat Who Knew Too Much   Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:39 pm

I heard about this. Stay away from that cat! LOL
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emilyanneoftheprairie
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PostSubject: Re: The Cat Who Knew Too Much   Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:59 pm

wow!



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PostSubject: Re: The Cat Who Knew Too Much   Fri Aug 03, 2007 1:07 pm

I saw an article about that, too. On the one hand, it's really sweet that this cat comforts people as they're passing away. On the other hand.......it is kind of creepy. Not in the "He's a soul-stealing cat!!" kind of way.......but just that he senses that so strongly. It's just kind of . . . creepy.
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PostSubject: Re: The Cat Who Knew Too Much   Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:47 pm

Wow...


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alexczarn
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PostSubject: Re: The Cat Who Knew Too Much   Mon May 02, 2011 10:25 pm

I've heard of cats and dogs like that.


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Krissy
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PostSubject: Re: The Cat Who Knew Too Much   Mon May 02, 2011 10:26 pm

Thumbsup


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PostSubject: Re: The Cat Who Knew Too Much   Today at 1:06 am

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