Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat
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Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  3,502 ratings  ·  693 reviews
A remarkable cat. A special gift. A life-changing journey. They thought he was just a cat. When Oscar arrived at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rhode Island he was a cute little guy with attitude. He loved to stretch out in a puddle of sunlight and chase his tail until he was dizzy. Occasionally he consented to a scratch behind the ears, but only whe...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by Hyperion (first published 2009)
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Dewey by Vicki MyronHomer's Odyssey by Gwen CooperOld Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. EliotInto the Wild by Erin HunterThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
Cat Lovers List
9th out of 574 books — 260 voters
Dewey by Vicki MyronThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussOld Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. EliotAlice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis CarrollInto the Wild by Erin Hunter
Great "Cat" Books
26th out of 887 books — 405 voters

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Community Reviews

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Julie Hedlund
It seems I am in the minority here, but I thought this book was just okay. It was billed as a story about a cat's ability to sense when dementia patients in a nursing home were approaching death and his dedication to remaining with them during their final hours. The real focus of the book, however, was on Dr. Dosa's experience treating his patients with dementia. That subject is certainly important and interesting, but the approach of revealing almost the entire story through dialogue between hi...more
May 18, 2012 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who like to read nonfiction stories about cats
This is a heartwarming tale about aging, life, death and letting go. It's also about the love we give and receive from the animals in our lives. This book details the amazing ability of one particular cat, named Oscar, in a New England nursing home who is able to determine when one of the residents is about to die. He chooses to stand watch over these people until they die, comforting the families who come visit and spend the last moments with loved ones. He acts as a calming force, a sentry aga...more
I had to travel for work last week. I finished the book I brought with me for the trip out. And because of the “no electronics during take-off and landing” rule, I needed another book to keep me occupied on the return trip until I could read on the iPad (or, in this instance, re-watch the season finale of Sons of Anarchy). Anyway, I was in a really small airport that had a really small selection of books. The only one that really caught my eye was Making Rounds With Oscar.

Dr. David Dosa works wi...more
As a book about a cat, it was disappointing.
As a book about dementia, it was a success.
Gerri Leen
Sep 10, 2010 Gerri Leen rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
If this book had been called "My Life with Dementia Patients (and oh yeah, there's a cat)", I'd have given it four stars. I also would NOT have bought it. I was fascinated with Oscar when I read his story online several years ago. I bought this book because I wanted to know more about THE CAT. Not about Doctor Dosa or the lives of his patients. Everything about the outside of the book points to it being ABOUT the cat, not being about the doctor who doesn't even like cats and makes no attempt to...more
This book was recommended by my goodreads friend Charlotte. I really wasn't sure if it was my type of book. I knew the book was about a cat in a nursing home. The cat, Oscar, knew when any of the elderly residents were about to die and would spend each person's final hours curled up in their bed. Who knows why this cat was able to do this--a smell or some other sense. It was interesting to read about Oscar's ability.
But, what I really took from this book was something that wasn't anything to...more
Oscar the cat ignores most of the patients at the nursing home where he lives until they are dying. Without fail, he shows up within 24 hours before a patient dies and stands watch until they are gone. He brings comfort to the patients and their families as they pass to the next life.

This is a true story, written by a doctor at the nursing home. Dr. Dosa was initially skeptical about Oscar's ability, but once he became convinced, he decided to interview the families that Oscar had comforted as t...more
Making Rounds With Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat; David Dosa M.D.

On July 27, 2007 Oscar the amazing cat who seemed to be able to predict the imminent death of patients at Steere House Nursing and Rehab Center in Providence, Rhode Island made the AP news . Oscar was a stray cat that began to wander the construction site of the current facility, and one day, shortly after the dedication ceremony, he decided to take a tour of the completed facility....."At first the staff tried t...more
This book was a very quick read - partially because I just didn't want to put it down. It isn't necessarily great literature, but it is truly an amazing story - a physician sets out to discover whether or not Oscar, a cat who lives in a rehabilitation home on an Alzheimer's floor, really does have some sort of inherent knowledge of when the residents are about to die. This amazing cat, who often is not interested in touch and affection, will settle onto the bed of an individual as he or she near...more
Noran Miss Pumkin
Oct 18, 2011 Noran Miss Pumkin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Noran by: Timothy Zuverink
This book did not have enough Meow for me, just like Dewey. Yet, I felt like I got to know this cat much more. Maybe, since I volunteered at a Hospice home for a couple years(not as a nurse though), I can relate more to this setting. Animals make a huge difference to these patients. I remember moving a bird feeder, for a new resident. She spent alot of time at her bay window looking at the birds. The daughter mentioned it was nice to have it, and I replied I moved it just for her mother. These w...more
Although cats are fascinating creatures, of which I’m quite fond of the finicky little buggers, “Making Rounds with Oscar” is more than just regaling the story of a cat’s extraordinary companionship tendencies with chronically ill patients. It’s a layman-friendly glimpse into Alzheimer: symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, and durational/terminal expectations. And it’s a broad spectrum exploration into the varied affects the disease has on patients, their families, nursing staff, and doctors, along...more
David Dosa, MD, is a geriatrician on staff at the Steere House, a skilled nursing facility specializing in patients with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. One of the unique things about Steere House is that they keep pets in the facility (cats, birds and rabbits) because they have found that the animals are oftentimes soothing to patients in distress.

One of the cats, Oscar, is fairly standoffish to staff and patients ... except when the patient is close to death. Then, Oscar hops up on th...more
Oscar is the feline nursing home resident who somehow senses when a patient is about to die and feels it is his duty to spend time with the dying patient as the end approaches. A simple matter of chemical attraction? Instinct? Empathy & Compassion? Or something more spiritual? This is what Dr. Dosa, the primary care physician for dementia patients at Steere House Nursing Home in Rhode Island, tries to discover in this informatively sensitive and poignant book.

Actually, when I first heard abo...more
Jennifer Nelson
Expecting another cutesy kitty-cat story, I was pleasantly surprised to find Making Rounds full of depth and pathos. Oscar is a somewhat unusual cat in that he can somehow sense when people are ready to leave this earth. At the Alzheimer's senior facility where he lives Oscar is a faithful and committed part of the hospice team. Even though somewhat unfriendly at other times, he sits with those who are dying, providing comfort to them and their families. Dr. Dosa does a great job describing the...more
Nov 16, 2010 Nita rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: memoir
A sweet little story about an amazing cat with a gift for knowing when nursing home patients are going to die and the skeptical alzheimer's doctor who learned of Oscar's gifts. I listened to the book on CD so I fear that the reading tainted my rating. I found the reading stilted and mildly melodramatic. But I still loved the story and found it moving. At times it brought me to tears. I'd say it's a must read. Really. Whether you have a loved one with dementia or not, it is possible that all of u...more
First, a disclaimer. I know the author, which is the only reason I initially chose to read this book. I was familiar with the story of the cat who knew when the nursing home residents were about to die and wasn't particularly interested in hearing more about it. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that (despite the way the publisher promoted it) the book is not really about the cat at all. While intriguing in its own right, the cat is merely a vehicle for discussing much more important a...more
Where to start? This non-fiction book took me over. It is mesmerizing. Making Rounds with Oscar is about a marvelous cat, one of three, on the third floor of a Rhode Island nursing home. Oscar is special. He senses when death is imminent, and that is a gift that sets the staff talking and prompts the facility’s doctor David Sosa, M.D., the author, on a quest to understand what makes Oscar purr, er, tick.

More importantly, this book is about dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s disease, which affect...more
"Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat" is a must read for any animal lover or loved one/caregiver to a person with dementia. Dr. David Dosa, a geriatrician, pens the poignant tale of Oscar, a cat living on the third floor of the Steele House in Providence, Rhode Island, a nursing home for the elderly suffering from dementia. Oscar is blessed with a special gift: he can sense when someone is about to die and holds a vigil at the patient's side until he/she passes an...more
This book definitely comes under the "your mileage may vary" category. I'd hoped it would focus a bit more on Oscar, who came across as nothing more than a standard cat doing standard cat things, and who was a peripheral character despite being featured on the book's cover. This is no, "Dewey, the Library Cat" -- it's a book about a dozen different families and their loved ones' battles with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. It's depressing. There are no happy endings. Every patient dies,...more
Amy Palmer
Nov 24, 2011 Amy Palmer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cat lovers
Shelves: pets-animals
I first heard about Oscar several years ago when he made national news. If you aren't familiar with him, here's the quick backstory: Oscar is a cat that lives at a nursing home in Providence, Rhode Island: Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. He lives on the floor that contains the unit where patients with dementia are cared for. It was discovered that, although most of the time Oscar isn't overly concerned with the patients, he will go and sit with them a few hours before they die. H...more
Andy Shuping
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

This book was a pleasant surprise to me. I knew that it would be about Oscar and his interactions with patients that were dying, but what surprised me was how the author talked more about the stories of the families that were dealing with a loved one having dementia. Oscar was a definite theme of the book and it was enlightening to read about how he took his role at the house, but even more enlightening was the stories of the families.

The author works at a nursing home that specializes in taking care of elderly patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The book provides insight into the lives of patients, family members, doctors and nurses as they watch the patients slip away from them, both mentally and physically. The frustration, the anger, the guilt, etc. is often devastating to the families. The nursing home where Dr. Dosa works has cats "working"/living there. They provide pet therapy. One of the cats, Oscar, seems t...more
Marina Zala
*books 94 - 2014 *

saya akan memberikan kisah kucing oscar ini dengan rating 2,9 dari 5 bintang!
tadinya saya berekspektasi lebih pada ceritanya ttg seekor kucing yang nengetahui detik2 menjelang meninggal pasien demensia..

ceritanta lumayan, standar sih klo dibilang. saya lebih tergugah dengan kisah kucing cleo daripada ini.. lumayanlah dibaca untuk waktu senggang..
This book is one long insight into caring for and living with people suffering with dementia, an insight that I haven't really experienced yet in my readings. The book is more about the families and particular patients than about Oscar the cat; however, Oscar's ability to sense when a nursing home resident was about to pass on gives the stories a wonderful framework and adds an extra element of interest. I was so moved by the stories and the struggle to love and protect a person who is no longer...more
Every cat lover must absolutely read this book. This is non-fiction and really makes clear our close connection to animals and how they help us to feel more at home in the awful circumstances of a nursing home. I can look at my own experiences with my many cats over the years and see that they, too, could be an Oscar the cat.
This book is not cute and the very real sadness of dementia is not prettied over but just as Oliver Sacks reminds us of how music can reach the mentally challenged, David Do...more
This most delightful book was written by an doctor - one who treats older folks, many with Alzheimer's Disease. His actual account is of a cat, Oscar, that seemed to know when folks were dying and went to their rooms and stayed with the people and their families. At first the doctor was skeptical but, at the urging of a nurse, began talking to families of patients who had died with Oscar. People found that Oscar was comforting and they believed their dying relatives were comforted, also.
Dosa mak...more
I'm a sap when it comes to books about animals. This is the story about a cat named Oscar who lives at a nursing home. He has a special ability to predict when residents are ready to die and then he stays with them until they pass. Oscar the cat also comforts family members who are in the room. This book is told from the point-of-view of Dr. David Dosa, who is the resident geriatrician.It's a very touching book. I also enjoy the cat quotes at the beginning of each chapter.
Really a 3.5. Oscar is an ordinary cat with a remarkable gift. He senses when death is near for the patients at the nursing home and brings comfort and companionship to the patients and their families. The book brings to light the effect of alzheimers on families and the reality of the health system. It is a heartbreaking disease. I agree with the author "at the end of my days, I prefer the cat over the ICU".
Oscar is a shelter cat who lives in the dementia wing at Steere House, a nursing home in Rhode Island. Geriatrician, Dr. David Dosa, notices Oscar’s uncanny ability to sense when a resident is about to die. Dosa’s observations led him to write this moving story about the residents, caregivers, and Oscar. This inspiring tale will touch your heart.
Gretel Ygraine
As a nurse working in the hospital's dementia unit, i can certainly relate to all the things that were in here. We are trying to start pet therapy in the acute hospital where i work, but as of now i dont think that would be possible. I am gladdened to read this, and how pet therapy actually works. What's more, they use cats. I love cats. <3
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Clearwater Public...: September Book Read: Making Rounds with Oscar 1 1 Dec 30, 2013 12:15PM  
Pamplico Library ...: Great book! 1 4 Jan 23, 2013 06:40AM  
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“A relationship between two people is made up, for the most part, of invisible things: memories, shared experiences, hopes and fears. When one person disappears, the other is left alone, as if holding a string with no kite. Memories can do a lot to sustain you, but the invisible stuff of the relationship is lost, even as unresolved issues remain: arguments never settled, kind words never uttered, things left un-said. They become like a splinter beneath the skin-unseen, but painful nevertheless. Until they're exposed, coping with the loss is impossible.” 4 likes
“Looking at my patients and their families, I have a remarkable view not just of lives well lived, but of deep commitment and love. I wouldn't trade that for the world. Sure, sometimes I'm caring for people at their worst, but I'm also blessed to be with them at their best.” 3 likes
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