My faith in science and my own intellectual vanity led me to reject the notion that some four-legged feline possessed special powers. As a researcher, I'd been taught to consider facts dispassionately—to analyze them, form theories, and poke holes in them until new theories arose that were closer to the truth. From a scientific point of view, it seemed ludicrous that a cat could predict human death. It was much easier to say that Oscar was drawn to warm, quiet beds—cats sleep two thirds of the time anyway, right? Still, there was a plausible biological explanation for the "sweet smell of death," which was perhaps what Oscar had sensed. As cells die, carbohydrates are degraded into many different oxygenated compounds, including various types of ketones—chemical mixtures known for their fragrant aroma...
Tag Archives | Cats
Tom Leonard writes in the Telegraph:
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A cat with an uncanny ability to detect when nursing home patients are about to die has proven itself in around 50 cases by curling up with them in their final hours, according to a new book.
Dr David Dosa, a geriatrician and assistant professor at Brown University, said that five years of records showed Oscar rarely erring, sometimes proving medical staff at the New England nursing home wrong in their predictions over which patients were close to death.
The cat, now five and generally unsociable, was adopted as a kitten at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre in Providence, Rhode Island, which specialises in caring for people with severe dementia.
Dr Dosa first publicised Oscar’s gift in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007. Since then, the cat has gone on to double the number of imminent deaths it has sensed and convinced the geriatrician that it is no fluke.
HAMZA HENDAWI writes in the AP via Yahoo News:
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CAIRO — Archaeologists have unearthed a 2,000-year-old temple that may have been dedicated to the ancient Egyptian cat goddess, Bastet, the Supreme Council of Antiquities said Tuesday. The ruins of the Ptolemaic-era temple were discovered by Egyptian archaeologists in the heart of the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C.
The city was the seat of the Greek-speaking Ptolemaic Dynasty, which ruled over Egypt for 300 years until the suicide of Queen Cleopatra. The statement said the temple was thought to belong to Queen Berenice, wife of King Ptolemy III who ruled Egypt in the 3rd century B.C.
Mohammed Abdel-Maqsood, the Egyptian archaeologist who led the excavation team, said the discovery may be the first trace of the long-sought location of Alexandria’s royal quarter. The large number of statues depicting Bastet found in the ruins, he said, suggested that this may be the first Ptolemaic-era temple dedicated to the cat goddess to be discovered in Alexandria.
There seem to be two kinds of people in the world: those who don't understand cats, and those who think cats are kind of douchebags. Unfortunately for cat lovers, science has kind of come down on the side of that second group. Research has revealed that a lot of the quirky and even cute things your kitty does are actually signs that your cat is kind of a dick. Rubbing Against You to Declare Ownership: By nature cats are hard to read. They're not like dogs, hopping around with joy when you walk in the door, or slinking away with shame when caught eating the garbage. No, cats have mastered an expression of almost disdainful indifference that they seem to wear regardless of their mood. However, as any spinster will tell you, a cat's affection is obvious when its purring and rubbing its face and body against your leg. It's like the animal is giving you a little kitty hug the only way it knows how! The problem with that, though, is when cats rub up against their owners, it has nothing to do with affection at all, but instead is kitty's way of claiming you as its property.