Thursday, July 26, 2007


A: Everyone thinks their cat is smarter than everyone else's cat. But they're usually wrong. For instance, I had my cat, Jũniper, file my income tax returns, and now I'm under investigation by the IRS for trying to claim 30 kilos of nip as a business expense.

The only time a cat is actually as smart as you think it is is when it's possessed by Satan. Which is only like 10% of the time. Take Oscar, of Providence, RI's Steere House Nursing & Rehabilitation Center — please!

When Oscar the Cat visits residents of the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island, the staff jumps into action -- Oscar can sense within hours when someone is about to die.

Raised at the nursing home since he was a kitten, Oscar often checks in on residents, but when he curls up for a visit, physicians and nursing home staff know it's time to call the family.
I wonder how those calls go.
NURSE: Hello, Mr. Johnson? We have some bad news about your father.

MR. JOHNSON: He's sexually harassing the staff again?

NURSE: No. Well, yes. But also the cat says he's going to die.


I'm very sorry to have to be the one to tell you what the cat says. Anyway, we might as well turn off his oxygen machine now.

Dr. Joan Teno, whose colleague at Brown interviewed Oscar wrote about Oscar in the Weekly World News New England Journal of Medicine, claims there is probably a non-Satan related explanation for all this:
"I don't think this is a psychic cat," said Teno. "I think there's probably a biochemical explanation," she said in a telephone interview.

While pets are often used to bring comfort to the elderly in nursing home settings, Oscar's talent is special, though not unexpected.

"That is such a cat thing to do," said Thomas Graves, a feline expert and chief of small animal medicine at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.
That is such a chief of small animal medicine at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine thing to say.

All this just goes to show how unfair the world is. When 25 people die shortly after Oscar goes to visit them, he gets a fawning write-up in the New England Journal of Medicine. When the same thing happens to me, I get a bunch of detectives with warrants chasing me around asking invasive personal questions about my collection of rare anthrax strains.

That darned cat.

EARLIER: I can has musical theater.

please comment. it makes me look popular.