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

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  6,435 ratings  ·  1,093 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
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 2nd 2010 by Hachette Books (first published 2009)
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Mary Lou Perhaps I'm too late in this response, but I'd say 14 and up. The reading level isn't the issue - it's not challenging. But there is talk of conjugal …morePerhaps I'm too late in this response, but I'd say 14 and up. The reading level isn't the issue - it's not challenging. But there is talk of conjugal visits in the nursing home, and the reality of dementia can be disturbing even to adults. And that's what this book is about - it's not a cute cat book (look for Dewey, if that's what you're interested in). Frankly, unless a teen is considering a health care career, or has a family member with dementia, I doubt they'd find this book very interesting. (less)
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 CarrollA Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen
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Dewey by Vicki MyronHomer's Odyssey by Gwen CooperThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussInto the Wild by Erin HunterOld Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  6,435 ratings  ·  1,093 reviews

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Petra X's driving in a Mustang GT to Key West
This isn't a review, it's a resolution:

I WILL finish this book
I DID finish this book.

It was hard going.

I'm such a cat person I couldn't resist the title, but in fact the book isn't about a cat at all. The title is just a hook to get cat lovers like me to part with $$$ hoping we might understand something more about the totally mysterious thought processes of a cat.

What the book is about is Dr Dosa who isn't very interesting. He's married with kids and has non-disabling arthritis. He's very ordi
Julie Hedlund
Sep 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: own, memoir, nonfiction, arc
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
This is a really touching story of Oscar, a cat who lives on the dementia floor of a nursing home called Steare House. When he senses a person is dying, he jumps on their bed and settles down to keep vigil until the undertakers collect the body. David Dosa, a physician who cared for patients in the nursing home, didn't believe that Oscar could know when someone was dying but at the suggestion of Mary the manager, he interviewed a number of families whose relative had died in the nursing home and ...more
Dec 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
As a book about a cat, it was disappointing.
As a book about dementia, it was a success.
Gerri Leen
Sep 10, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: animal lovers
I absolutely adore this book! Watching my own mother pass away from cancer and seeing how her dog interacted with her I believe that Oscar has that special gift too...the gift to comfort someone in the darkest of times. We all must die alone but with an animal lying by your side, purring or just snuggling I truly believe it brings comfort not only to the person who is passing on but those who are there with them. This is a beautiful book, simply written. The author starts off not believing that ...more
~☆~Autumn♥♥☔ Wells
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-one-day
I started reading this about one pm when my husband carried it home from the library for me and just finished it. I was unable to put it down. It is an amazing story about an unusual cat. He lives in a unit for those with dementia and helps when someone is dying. He knows when someone is going to die! It is believed that he may smell ketones. I did cry a good bit while reading.
Dec 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Diane in Australia
3 Stars = I liked the book. I'm glad I read it. ...more
Saar The Book owl
I don't know what it is about books written about a special cat. In most of the books it's the author that is in the middle of the attention and not the cat and that's dissapointing, but that's just my personal opinion. Here it isn't the author, but the disease called 'dementia'. Nevertheless, it was an interesting book to read. I'm a big believer of that cats and horses have some kind of sixth sense. i'm certain that cats are with one paw in the real world and with another in the spiritual worl ...more
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I heard about this cat a few years back. So when the opportunity came to read a book about him, I was curious to say the least. To my surprise this is not really a book about Oscar, the cat. He has more of a supporting actor role in this book. It's more about a doctor's experience with his dementia patients and their families. The doctor finds he trusts this cat and he learns to be guided by the cat because Oscar has the ability to sense when a patient is about to die. Oscar goes and curls up wi ...more
Sharon Huether
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oscar lived on the third floor of a rest home in Rhode Island, where all 41 dementia patients were.
Oscar would jump on the beds of patients when they were near death. He was a comfort to them, the staff and the family. Often he would smell the air around the patients feet. He would stay with the patient until the undertaker came.
Some families could not accept the fact that their loved one might die, so they wanted all the means to keep them alive. It seemed not to help them at all. When it was
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: medicine, memoir, animals
To be clear, this book is not about a cat. It is a memoir about the experiences of a doctor providing hospice care in a nursing home. That said, I really hope that I have the comfort of a cat close by when I breathe my last (whether or not the cat is there by extraordinary instinct or simple happenstance).
Dr David Dosa a geriatrician who worked at Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation in Rhode Island at the time of publication of this little book. He was told that Oscar the cat often provided comfort and companionship as patients and their families in the dementia unit as they approached their last hours. Dr Dosa had written an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, and the story started to build. Television news articles, a book, a movie was proposed.

Steere House had numerous therapy
Rhonda B
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book!! As I thought the story might involve more about Oscar than the author, it still is an excellent read. Dr Dosa's view of his charges in the nursing home with Oscar the cat at his side. I love cats and this little guy stole my heart. Take away--- live in the moment!! ...more
Jan 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Shelley Pearson
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I found this book while searching for non-fiction audiobooks about animals. Some reviews said that it’s actually more about dementia/end-of-life care than it is about cats, which also appealed to me, so I checked it out. I agree with those reviews. Oscar is a cat that lives at a hospice and has an uncanny ability to know when residents are going to pass away. He generally prefers to leave the residents alone, but if he starts sleeping on someone’s bed, that person usually dies within the day. I ...more
Feb 05, 2017 rated it liked it
An interesting account of a nursing home's resident cat, who always seems to know when a patient is about to die. As someone who studied human-animal interactions, I enjoyed hearing of this instance of what can only be described as animal-assisted therapy. Oscar the cat not only eased the journey of patients stricken with dementia into the next realm, he also provided comfort to the families of those patients and the staff that cared for them. Note that there is extremely little discussion of th ...more
Noran Miss Pumkin
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals-cats
I have read articles about Oscar so I was excited to find out there was a book about him. As I read my interest started waning as I realized it was more about the doctor and Alzheimer's then about Oscar.
Though Oscar is given a fair amount of mention it was not a lot in a book of 200+ pages. I gave the book four stars because the stories were emotional and it does help raise awareness of dementia and Alzheimer's. It was a slow read but I learned a lot from it so that made it worthwhile.
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this. Highly recommend.
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Perfect book for anyone with a loved one suffering from dementia. It was soooo insightful in the most serendipitous way.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
First of all I had heard about similar other cats who have been loving nurturers to patients whether they were human or animal so I may have heard of Oscar just in passing as some trivia companies like to throw things out there in random passing of facts. Otherwise the individual finding of this particular book would have to be given to my sister, which isn't quite that suprising if you follow her taste in books.

First of all if you are an emotional sensitive you may just want to prepare yourse
Dec 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
I had less and less tolerance for this book the further along I got. This book is basically a guide to living with those with Alzheimer's. Almost as if Dr. Dosa has written this book as a cautionary tale to those with ailing parents.

One quote within this book from Dr. Dosa to his head aid Mary, can pretty much sum up the entire book. "I think it has less to do with the cat, and more to do with with the care that YOU and your staff provide up here." Obviously Dr. Dosa was referring to a patients
Dani Shuping
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.

May 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
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2017 Reading Chal...: Making Rounds with Oscar 1 10 Sep 18, 2015 09:26AM  
Pamplico Library ...: Great book! 1 6 Jan 23, 2013 06:40AM  

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