Book Review-Making Rounds with Oscar by David Dosa M.D.

This book was written nine years ago and the setting is the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. The author is the doctor in this facility.

This facility has three floors, and on each floor there are two resident cats. The third floor is the unit that cares for residents with Alzheimers. This is where Oscar lives. Oscar has the run of the third floor, his food and water is at the nurses station and he goes about his business visiting. But there are many rooms and he doesn’t stay long…..only when the patient is about to die. Then he will come into the room and sniff the air, jump up on the bed and curl up beside the patient. He will stay there until they pass on and the funeral home comes and takes the body away. Then he is off duty again. It wears him out and he sleeps the next day away, more so than what cats normally do.

The doctor was not a cat person, and really was skeptical about this. The nurses and aids would try to tell him about Oscar and how he could do this but he took it upon himself to visit families who had Oscar be with them. He wanted their take on this phenomenon. He received views on Oscar but he also became a much more empathetic person from speaking with these people. He understood better what people were going through when their loved one was dying from this disease. Since he also had a disease that may someday render his arms and legs useless it help him to not focus on himself but to live life well. This also gives the reader food for thought, that we don’t know what is ahead of us, what will it be like when after all the years we are married and then to lose your spouse, and not have them beside you anymore.

Every chapter in this book started with a cat quote, two of my favorites:

1.One cat just leads to another-Earnest Hemingway
2. A cat is always on the wrong side of the door-Anonymous
All in all this was a delightful book. I loved that they had cats at this facility, it made it seem very homelike and the reason why people chose to stay there.

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