Fresh Peppers from the Garden!
Last night’s tasty dinner of baked pasta in tomato sauce with cheese and last of our zucchini, baked and parmed just the way I like it. Absolutely delicious. Farewell, dear zucchini… I have new appreciation for you that I didn’t before they were grown at home. I look forward to the autumn crop, now.
After I went to bed last night, Amy and BHK played more than a few games of Aquarius and Carcassone – Hunters & Gatherers. From my understanding, Amy won the bulk of them, but BHK wasn’t totally skunked. Nifty – There’s an online play version of C:H&G at Yucata and a solo self-play of Aquarius on the Aquarius link prior. If anyone wants in on a turn-based game or two, look for me there, or at superdupergames for icehouse -type stuff. I’m username scottobear in both, and try to log in once a night for a move or three. BHK and AMy also turned me on to Tribal Wars , which also looks pretty cool. I’d like to start a community or something to track all the different stuff!
Tonight – Witch Trial was a good time and we played more Aquarius, but we did’nt get a chance to play Chrononauts (All I wanted was a souvenir T-rex named Emily – or a Stegosaurus of any name.)
Ape Lad posted a picture in response to the death kitty: His lolcats cartoons are pretty dang cute variations on an otherwise dead meme.
Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours. His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led the staff to call family members once he has chosen someone. It usually means they have less than four hours to live.
“He doesn’t make too many mistakes. He seems to understand when patients are about to die,” said Dr. David Dosa in an interview. He describes the phenomenon in a poignant essay in Thursday’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
“Many family members take some solace from it. They appreciate the companionship that the cat provides for their dying loved one,” said Dosa, a geriatrician and assistant professor of medicine at Brown University.
The 2-year-old feline was adopted as a kitten and grew up in a third-floor dementia unit at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The facility treats people with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and other illnesses.
After about six months, the staff noticed Oscar would make his own rounds, just like the doctors and nurses. He’d sniff and observe patients, then sit beside people who would wind up dying in a few hours.
Dosa said Oscar seems to take his work seriously and is generally aloof. “This is not a cat that’s friendly to people,” he said.
Oscar is better at predicting death than the people who work there, said Dr. Joan Teno of Brown University, who treats patients at the nursing home and is an expert on care for the terminally ill.
She was convinced of Oscar’s talent when he made his 13th correct call. While observing one patient, Teno said she noticed the woman wasn’t eating, was breathing with difficulty and that her legs had a bluish tinge, signs that often mean death is near.
Oscar wouldn’t stay inside the room though, so Teno thought his streak was broken. Instead, it turned out the doctor’s prediction was roughly 10 hours too early. Sure enough, during the patient’s final two hours, nurses told Teno that Oscar joined the woman at her bedside.
Doctors say most of the people who get a visit from the sweet-faced, gray-and-white cat are so ill they probably don’t know he’s there, so patients aren’t aware he’s a harbinger of death. Most families are grateful for the advanced warning, although one wanted Oscar out of the room while a family member died. When Oscar is put outside, he paces and meows his displeasure.
No one’s certain if Oscar’s behavior is scientifically significant or points to a cause. Teno wonders if the cat notices telltale scents or reads something into the behavior of the nurses who raised him. Nicholas Dodman, who directs an animal behavioral clinic at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and has read Dosa’s article, said the only way to know is to carefully document how Oscar divides his time between the living and dying.
If Oscar really is a furry grim reaper, it’s also possible his behavior could be driven by self-centered pleasures like a heated blanket placed on a dying person, Dodman said.
Nursing home staffers aren’t concerned with explaining Oscar, so long as he gives families a better chance at saying goodbye to the dying.
Oscar recently received a wall plaque publicly commending his “compassionate hospice care.”
1 year ago – snakes on a plane burnout, newtcam flipside, still waitin’, talking with bhk, old book scans, hal jordan (green lantern) head injuries, 5x$2, gig upgrade, hoff – king of the Internet
2 years ago – M&M bday, there will come soft rains, yahoo widgets, maybe a visit from the lisas, mp bday in 18
3 years ago – Newt hates Mondays, Beaucoupkev nominates me for prez, Solar Filament, Bradbury, Math atlas, P.I.s, Obvious Movie title
4 years ago -Bambi hunt a hoax, online games, lj diversity, comic book/cartoon thoughts, including the doom song.
5 years ago – some missing pictures, wondering about my eyes, watching TV, evil news, some palm pics, Newt pics
6 years ago – senescence, thegosis, arrival as a pod, loving thoughts
7 years ago – Buds for lunch (I’ll miss that rare treat), dealing ok with winding down (via Scotto’s Wall Scrawls)