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Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat Hardcover – February 2, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"At its heart, Dosa's search is more about how people cope with death than Oscar's purported ability to predict it."―Associated Press
"Beautifully written, heartwarming [...] Told with profound insight and great respect for all involved, this is more than just a cat story (although it will appeal to fans of Vicki Myron's Dewey)."―Library Journal
"You'll be moved."―People
More About the Author
After the story made headlines on morning television programs and newspapers around the world, David decided to write his first book "Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat" about his experiences with Oscar.
David lives with his wife and two children outside of Providence, Rhode Island. He is currently trying to convince his wife to buy a cat or a dog-- with significant assistance from his two kids. Unfortunately, like many of the characters in his book, David and his wife are also now part of the 'Sandwich Generation' a generation caught between raising children and caring for a parent with dementia.
For more information about David, please see his website at:
Top Customer Reviews
In fact, there might be a mere cumulative total of 20 pages about Oscar. Rather, the book is one part memoir of the doctor and his geriatric practice; one part profile of the dementia unit's charge nurse; and eight parts profiles of the residents and their families, with a dollop about the end-of-life comfort provided to them by Oscar. Nor does Dosa explore (beyond a couple sentences) the source of Oscar's instinct -- the theories and research about the physiology of dying and animals' amazing sense abilities.
That said, I'm going to take a sharp turn and say that I liked the book it actually *is*, and that it's an important book for the elderly and (especially) their caregivers to read. Dosa is frank about the fear, denial, frustration and guilt inherent in caregiving generally, and specifically in losing a loved one in "the long goodbye" of dementia. He touches on the inadequacies of doctors and the healthcare system and the importance of realistic end-of-life directives. And there are takeaways: that simple diversion is more effective than trying to reign someone in from their altered reality; that it's important to interact according to who the person is now (in dementia) rather than who they were; and that it's most important to simply "be there" rather than necessarily interacting at all. Recommended.
No one knows how he does it, but when he detects that someone is near dying, he takes up residence on their bed and usually stays until the funeral director comes to collect the body. During this time, he also offers comfort to the family who are there to be with their loved one during this transition. When there's no one to sit with the patient, Oscar maintains a solitary vigil. No one dies alone on Oscar's watch.
People who love their pets probably won't question Oscar's abilities, but one of the doctors who works there was a bit of a skeptic. This book is the result of his interviews with family members and staff who shared their experiences with him. Over and over they told Dr. Doza how much the gift of Oscar's presence had meant to them during a very difficult time. Most people who have cats know the comfort they can bring when they curl up next to you in bed and share their warmth. It's as if Oscar's being there normalizes the events and removes some of the fears.
All of the patients on Oscar's floor are in the final stages of dementia, usually due to Alzheimer's. Experience and research have shown that two things are often able to break through the haze that envelops them - music and animals. In the process of telling Oscar's story, Dr. Doza also gives us insight into this very scary disease.Read more ›
I imagine that Steere House will not be lacking for residents after this moving depiction. Needless to say, it is heart-wrenching for any family member to place his/her loved one in a nursing home, probably more so when the loved one has dementia. What a gift to know that Steere House exists, where the staff is compassionate, even loving, and treats their residents like family. Where a cat moved in while the building was still under construction, and the management took it as a sign that animals were meant to live there along with the patients. Personally, I find dementia to be a pretty scary topic and generally try not to think about it. The author is a geriatrician who makes it real, even if still mysterious. He interviews family members who speak courageously and honestly about losing their loved ones, and how it helped to have Oscar there at the end.
I learned that hospice is not just for the very end of life, and it is about much more than medical care.
I learned that people who refuse to eat at the natural end of their lives are not starving themselves.
I learned that there is a lot we don't know about dementia, but we are learning more all the time.
Dr. Sosa writes in a very easy, straightforward style. His patients and their families are very lucky people.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great book that teachers much about animal sensitivies and human nature.Published 6 days ago by sbspring
Love this book! bought 3 as gifts. True story of a cat who senses which patients on a dementia unit are nearing death. Oscar stays quietly beside them until they pass away.Published 16 days ago by scp
While based on true stories, it reads like non-fiction to some degree. A must read for those staring dementia in the face whether on a personal level or professional. Read morePublished 20 days ago
Purchased this as a book required for a college course but it was a very good read. Highly recommend this bookPublished 1 month ago by Jessa Sondergaard
I love animals. The thought of a cat able to predict end of life intrigued me. ..but this book turned out to be so much more. Read morePublished 1 month ago by cjblt
I usually can write quite a lot, but words fail me with this book - it is THAT.GOOD. This is a book you can love on many levels; I thought it would be a cute book about a cat -... Read morePublished 1 month ago by B. Thomas