Oscar was adopted as a kitten from an animal shelter and grew up on the end-stage dementia unit at Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island. The nursing home treats people with advanced Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other illnesses, most of whom are generally unaware of their surroundings. Oscar was one of six cats adopted by Steere House as they felt that the pets were a source of comfort to the patients and made the facility more homelike. Along with the cats, they had a few birds and bunnies.
After about six months, the staff noticed that Oscar, just like the doctors and nurses, would make his own rounds. Oscar would sniff and observe patients, then curl up to sleep with certain people. The patients he would sleep with often died within several hours of his