Making Rounds With Oscar

As anyone who has ever read this blog (or met me for five minutes) knows, I really love animals.  I also really love sappy kids books about animals.  I have spent a significant piece of my library’s budget buying gems like Owen and Mzee, Molly the Pony, Tarra and Bella, Two Bobbies, and Nubs.  All very great books and each one brings a tear to my eyes (or several).

There has also been a trend towards publishing adult books in the same genre.  First there was Marley and Me.  Then came Dewey.  Now get ready to fall for Oscar.

I just finished reading Marking Rounds With Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat by Dr. David Dosa and wow, I loved it.  Have you ever read a book that you felt was written specifically for you?  Like as you were reading it you felt like the author was thinking of you the whole time he/she was writing it?  This was one of those books for me.

If you haven’t heard the story about Oscar the cat, get ready to be amazed and touched.  So Oscar is a cat at Steere House, which is a home for patients with dementia.  Basically it is a very nice nursing home that has 6 cats altogether.  But Oscar is different from the other cats.  Whenever one of the patients at Steere House passes away, Oscar is there with them.  Oscar has the ability to know when a patient is about to die, and that is when he goes into their room.  Oscar is pretty unfriendly most of the time, but when someone is taking their last breath, Oscar is there, sitting on the bed to comfort the patient and the family.  Wow.

The book is written by one of the doctors who works at Steere House.  It is soo sooooo good!!!  Not only is the book a great cat book, it is also a fascinating look at dementia (or as I will always refer to it, Alzheimer’s).  Dr. Dosa spends a lot of time focusing not only on specific patients, but also their families.  This was so great for me to read because my grandfather had Alzheimer’s.  Let me tell you, it sucked.  My grandpa, who had never even raised his voice ever, turned into an angry man who on several occasions attacked the nurses.

This book does a really great job of describing what it is like to deal with the effects of Alzheimer’s on family and friends.  I teared up many, many times, but it was fantastic because after reading it, I felt some of my guilt over what happened to my grandpa (Dr. Dosa talks a lot about guilt) melt away.  I am definitely going to buy this book for my mom.

Dr. Dosa also talks a little bit about his own issues with his inflammatory arthritis.  Whoa, now that is crazy.  I am currently in the process of discovering what is wrong with me pain-wise and it is probably something arthritis related.  So yes, that is why I feel the book was written for me.

Cats: check

Dealing with Alzheimer’s: check

Dealing with Arthritis at a young age: check

Now, even if none of those things apply to you (even if you are not a cat person!!) you should read this book.  Dr. Dosa admits that he is not particularly fond of cats.  But in his quest to discover how Oscar really does what he does, he learns to accept the fact that cats are awesome.

So go, pick up a box of tissues and read this book!

Jen

P.S.  Here is a page on the Steere House website all about Oscar.  You can also find a link to Dr. Dosa’s original article on the page.

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