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 Seniors Home Pet in Winnipeg, Canada

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Number of posts : 724
Location : Canada
Registration date : 2008-01-26

PostSubject: Seniors Home Pet in Winnipeg, Canada   Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:04 am

I have been given permission to share this story with you about the place I used to work and the cat on the third floor. She was before my time but she is still talked about.

She was the third floor pet in this seniors home. This place is the last stop for its residents. Most go in with a DNR signed.

Since she was a kitten she seemed to sense that although these people would act strangely sometimes they meant no harm to her. SHe was amazingly patient and she was never one to scratch.

They always knew someone was on their way out because of her though, and they always knew at least three days in advance. The pattern was always the same. Suddenly the cat would be in this persons bedroom, she would leave to eat and to use her litter box. Depending on how the family and the person felt about cats in the room she would either sleep by the head of the bed, alongside the person, half on them half off, or at the foot of the bed keeping vigil but at a respectful distance. It was rare that family would get upset about her being there though and they usually took as much comfort from her purring and pleasantmeanor as the person dying.

Sometimes the cat would know before the person themselves knew and they mostly thought that she was just making her nightly rounds and saying hello.

She would stay with the person until they died and sometimes she was the only one in the room with them when they did pass. When the person was gone she would stand in the doorway and meow in a shrill and persistent voice, making the nurses pay attention. When someone came to investigate her MO was to jump on the bed and sit at the foot of it watching while the DON and the nurse pronopunced death and informed the family.

She would stay in the room until the body was removed if they allowed her to. If not she stood vigil outside until the body was taken.

It is almost supernatural that the night she died she died in the bed of her favorite resident. The woman had been in the seniors home only a month or so longer thsn the cat who they got from the pound at four months old. There was an instant connection. When she wasn't keeping vigil over the dying residents she could be found in this womans room. Her litter box and food were close by in a closet with a pet door for her convenience.

The night the cat died was also the night the woman passed away. She died like she always said she wanted to, in her sleep and with no fuss. They were found on third round bed checks, her hand on the cats back and the cat was curled in a ball beside her.

I have no idea why this cat was the way she was, and the aides and nurses miss her still. They now have a pair of lovebirds as pets on the floor and may one day get another cat for the residents, but that is a big maybe, you just can't beat an animal like that one.

In every other way she was a perfectly normal animal. She was smallish and had callico colors on her with a black ring around one eye. They have one photo album dedicated entirely to her, lots of people have looked at it and all agree, she looked like she was supposed to be there.

Thanks for listening.

By: hgeddie@mts.net
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PostSubject: Re: Seniors Home Pet in Winnipeg, Canada   Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:12 pm

I know cats are amazing beings, I love them, even when they bring live snake in the house (that’s not often, fortunately).
Besides of making me cry this story reminded me of a cat named Oscar, from Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, R.I.
He was too adopted from a shelter as a kitten and, as far as I know, he’s still “guarding” patients at the said Center. He also senses when time has come and waits in or by this person’s bed. After “foretelling” 25th death of a patient, David M. Dosa MD MPH, geriatrician at the Center wrote an essay about Oscar and it was published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Cool cat
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