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The Cat Reaper

FreddyDFreddyD Registered User regular
edited July 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
I just heard this story on the radio, and quite frankly, it creeps me the hell out:

http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/oscar-cat-with-the-purr-of-death/2007/07/26/1185339167772.html#
When death is near, Oscar nearly always appears at the last hour or so. Yet he shows no special interest in patients who are simply in poor shape, or even patients who may be dying but who still have a few days. Authorities in animal behaviour have no explanation for Oscar's ability to sense imminent death. They theorise that he might detect some subtle change in metabolism - felines are as acutely sensitive to smells as dogs - but are stumped as to why he would show interest.
To summarize, supposedly Oscar the cat can sense when a person is within an hour of dying. Is that even possible? Could the explanation go beyond science? I am assuming that this article is coming from a reputable source.

FreddyD on
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Posts

  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited July 2007
    Could the explanation go beyond science?

    No, it cannot.

    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • YodaTunaYodaTuna Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    Could the explanation go beyond science?

    No, it cannot.

    What are you talking about, this cat is clearly the offspring of Jesus.

  • edited July 2007
    I posted about this in the creepiest thread since we were talking about cats. Cats are weird.. at least, from my experience they are. It's like they see and hear things we don't which makes sense (no pun intended) considering how much more sharp their senses are compared to ours.

    Animals also have a way of knowing if their owners are sick, also.

    I don't know if it's anything paranormal.. perhaps we give off some sort of signal that they are able to pick up and interpret as something being wrong. I don't know... but I do find it interesting.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2007
    kaz67 wrote: »
    I saw this on CNN and thought it was kind of cute. They said so far the cat has been right 25 times so seems like something really is going on. As for an explanation, I am putting my money on demon cat.

    I love that they refuse to say 25 times out of how many total. And I'm willing to bet there's some kind of scent change in the dying.

    And nothing's beyond science, by definition.

    tmsig.jpg
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Or the cat is seeking out the heating blankets they put on dying patients.

    easybossfight_zps4752c132.gif
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Or the dead people move less and act as nice pillows that don't move.

  • GoslingGosling Looking Up Soccer In Mongolia Right Now, Probably Watertown, WIRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    MSNBC countered earlier today with a cat in Seattle that's on a perfect streak of "about three dozen".

    BONUS: That cat's name is Buckwheat.

    I have a blog. Read it. Blog-reading makes you pretty and popular.
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    mtvcdm wrote: »
    MSNBC countered earlier today with a cat in Seattle that's on a perfect streak of "about three dozen".

    BONUS: That cat's name is Buckwheat.

    This is going to become some kind of retarded race by the stations to find the cat with the best record and get exclusive reviews with the owners, isn't it?

  • P10P10 Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Cats are hypersensitive to changes in body language, scent, etc. I don't understand how this is such a huge fucking mystery

  • siliconenhancedsiliconenhanced __BANNED USERS
    edited July 2007
    So if cats attract death, the solution is to keep a dog around you. You should never die.

    Science!

  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited July 2007
    Cats are hypersensitive to changes in body language, scent, etc. I don't understand how this is such a huge fucking mystery

    It is a mystery to the uneducated and ignorant.

    Which happen to make up the vast majority of the American populace.

    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • YodaTunaYodaTuna Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    It's just like dogs they train to sense when their owners are about to have a seizure.

  • SavantSavant Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    kaz67 wrote: »
    I saw this on CNN and thought it was kind of cute. They said so far the cat has been right 25 times so seems like something really is going on. As for an explanation, I am putting my money on demon cat.

    I love that they refuse to say 25 times out of how many total. And I'm willing to bet there's some kind of scent change in the dying.

    And nothing's beyond science, by definition.

    Nothing tangible is beyond science, but we probably shouldn't get into that discussion.

    From the story I read I got the impression that he had a perfect 25 times out of 25 times, except for the time the family of the dying forced him out of the room.

    It would be interesting to see what's the mechanism behind the cat's ability, as it could have some important implications about the process of death. It's not all that surprising that a cat can sense something that isn't fully understood biologically, although I am wondering what motivated the cat to act selectively on that. Only being friendly to those immediately dying is somewhat of a strange behavior.

  • CorlisCorlis Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Savant wrote: »
    Only being friendly to those immediately dying is somewhat of a strange behavior.
    Unless it thinks it's going to get to eat them. O_o

    But I don't mind, as long as there's a bed beneath the stars that shine,
    I'll be fine, just give me a minute, a man's got a limit, I can't get a life if my heart's not in it.
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    Cats are hypersensitive to changes in body language, scent, etc. I don't understand how this is such a huge fucking mystery

    It is a mystery to the uneducated and ignorant.

    Which happen to make up the vast majority of the American populace.

    Its hardly just an american thing :|

    tmsig.jpg
  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    My money's on your hormones going, 'Well we're done here. Time to signal scavengers and such with our horrible, horrible scent of death'. Maybe the cat picked up on that went mousing and goes to any death scent in the hopes of finding rodents or other delectables. OR something like that...

    14271f3c-c765-4e74-92b1-49d7612675f2.jpg
  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited July 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    ege02 wrote: »
    Cats are hypersensitive to changes in body language, scent, etc. I don't understand how this is such a huge fucking mystery

    It is a mystery to the uneducated and ignorant.

    Which happen to make up the vast majority of the American populace.

    Its hardly just an american thing :|

    Well, in this particular case it is.

    Humanity in general is stupid though, you're right.

    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • slurpeepoopslurpeepoop Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Goddamn you people are retarded.

    Haven't you ever seen Cat's Eye? The cat is trying to save the old defenseless people from the troll living in the wall that sucks their soul out of them.

    What these people need is a record player and a fan, stat.



  • Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    What's sad is that, since I've been home all week and awake early, I've seen this on like every morning news show today and yesterday. -sigh-

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  • Zephyr_FateZephyr_Fate Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    While this dabbles more in metaphysics than anything, cats have been surmised throughout many religions (specifically the Egyptians) as having psychic or telepathic powers. It could be that the cat can sense impending death due to changes in the person's mental state.

    Ah well, people would piss all over it for no reason at all, but being an owner of a couple of cats most of my life they do seem to pick up on changes in emotion and such. I'm just saying that it's pretty common for cats to have been thought of as having a touch of psi.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    They've already discovered that some dogs can "smell" cancer.
    This isn't that weird.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    While this dabbles more in metaphysics than anything, cats have been surmised throughout many religions (specifically the Egyptians) as having psychic or telepathic powers.
    Egyptian mythology also had one of their gods jack off into his mouth to make himself pregnant.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Goddamn you people are retarded.

    Haven't you ever seen Cat's Eye? The cat is trying to save the old defenseless people from the troll living in the wall that sucks their soul out of them.

    What these people need is a record player and a fan, stat.

    But fans suck all of the air out of a room and they'll suffocate. Haven't you ever been to South Korea?

    tea-1.jpg
  • YodaTunaYodaTuna Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Titmouse wrote: »
    While this dabbles more in metaphysics than anything, cats have been surmised throughout many religions (specifically the Egyptians) as having psychic or telepathic powers.
    Egyptian mythology also had one of their gods jack off into his mouth to make himself pregnant.

    Are you trying to say this doesn't work? Man.

    Being able to sense changes in body chemistry hardly has anything to do with psychics or telepathic powers. Most animals have highly tuned senses of smell, they can probably smell the chemicals the body excretes as it prepares itself for death.

  • Zephyr_FateZephyr_Fate Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Titmouse wrote: »
    While this dabbles more in metaphysics than anything, cats have been surmised throughout many religions (specifically the Egyptians) as having psychic or telepathic powers.
    Egyptian mythology also had one of their gods jack off into his mouth to make himself pregnant.

    The Bible also says that you shouldn't eat shrimp. Or something. Whatever.

    One example doesn't disqualify the entire religion/philosophy.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Titmouse wrote: »
    While this dabbles more in metaphysics than anything, cats have been surmised throughout many religions (specifically the Egyptians) as having psychic or telepathic powers.
    Egyptian mythology also had one of their gods jack off into his mouth to make himself pregnant.

    The Bible also says that you shouldn't eat shrimp. Or something. Whatever.

    One example doesn't disqualify the entire religion/philosophy.

    The Egyptian religion was really odd. Later beliefs had Atum screwing his shadow. Basically, anything that the Egyptians say about metaphysics should be taken with a few bags of salt.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Dogs specifically can smell the methanol that's produced by tumors - which isn't surprising really because that stuff evaporates fast - great for getting water out of glassware.

    It wouldn't be surprising if the cat could smell something similar- cells can emit a variety of comedy chemical compounds.

  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I'm with whoever said the cat just finds dying people more comfortable to hang out with, because they don't move so much. Cats are cynical like that. My cat likes to curl up next to sleeping people, and generally likes people more the less they move (and hates people who like to gesture with their hands a lot when talking). I bet he'd prefer the company of the dead and dying too.

    MSL59.jpg
  • SpongeCakeSpongeCake Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I wonder how many superstitious dying people decided to give up the fight after spotting this cat wandering about.

  • kaz67kaz67 Registered User
    edited July 2007
    SpongeCake wrote: »
    I wonder how many superstitious dying people decided to give up the fight after spotting this cat wandering about.

    According to the report I saw most of the patients aren't very aware of their surroundings.

  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt Damn you, eidetic memory! Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    The report mentioned that there tend to be physical changes in someone about to die: failing circulation in the extremities was specifically mentioned. One of these changes is something that the cat picks up on. Can't explain why it likes chilling with dying people, but it's pretty simple to guess how it picks them out.

    Origin ID: Null_Cypher
    Thomas-Vail.png
  • SpongeCakeSpongeCake Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    The report mentioned that there tend to be physical changes in someone about to die: failing circulation in the extremities was specifically mentioned. One of these changes is something that the cat picks up on. Can't explain why it likes chilling with dying people, but it's pretty simple to guess how it picks them out.

    It amazes me that, given how easy this is to explain, people are jumping all over "paranormal" explanations. Hell, that's the only reason this thing is even a story.

    Edit: Actually, replace "amazes" with "frustrates."

  • kaz67kaz67 Registered User
    edited July 2007
    Well you have to admit magic soul reaping cat is a lot more exciting than cat who happens to like sleeping next to people who are about to die. Once people don't start worshiping the cat my faith in humanity will remain intact.

  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited July 2007
    YodaTuna wrote: »
    Titmouse wrote: »
    While this dabbles more in metaphysics than anything, cats have been surmised throughout many religions (specifically the Egyptians) as having psychic or telepathic powers.
    Egyptian mythology also had one of their gods jack off into his mouth to make himself pregnant.

    Are you trying to say this doesn't work? Man.

    Being able to sense changes in body chemistry hardly has anything to do with psychics or telepathic powers. Most animals have highly tuned senses of smell, they can probably smell the chemicals the body excretes as it prepares itself for death.

    Might be a good thing for medical scientists to investigate. Seems like that information would be useful.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    YodaTuna wrote: »
    Titmouse wrote: »
    While this dabbles more in metaphysics than anything, cats have been surmised throughout many religions (specifically the Egyptians) as having psychic or telepathic powers.
    Egyptian mythology also had one of their gods jack off into his mouth to make himself pregnant.

    Are you trying to say this doesn't work? Man.

    Being able to sense changes in body chemistry hardly has anything to do with psychics or telepathic powers. Most animals have highly tuned senses of smell, they can probably smell the chemicals the body excretes as it prepares itself for death.

    Might be a good thing for medical scientists to investigate. Seems like that information would be useful.

    There are too many variables and in the end it's probably something we already know - it's far far more likely it's something simple that they do to people likely to die that the cat likes - or indeed just the "people in the process of dying quietly move less but generate warmth".

  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited July 2007
    It could be that the cat can sense impending death due to changes in the person's mental state.

    Cats can certainly react to mental states. Once I was in a state of severe mental stress and approaching a complete breakdown of "ok, time to go to a hospital" level.

    Both cats sit down in front of me, watching me with wide eyes, never taking their eyes away from me.

    Body chemistry changing? Body language? Whatever it was, they sure did pick up on it. I've never seen cats focus that intently on me since then.

  • Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    This is the THIRD day in a row I've seen news stories on TV about the Death Cat. I just think it's wild how much coverage this is getting... oh the media.

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  • SpongeCakeSpongeCake Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    The hilarious thing is, when we found out that dogs could smell cancer through scientific means it was just a footnote.

  • Shazkar ShadowstormShazkar Shadowstorm Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Oh my god... the news headline thing on CNN about the death cat...

    It said: "Death Cab for Kitty"

    and the anchor said that phrase too

    seriously

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  • SnorkSnork Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    moniker wrote: »
    Goddamn you people are retarded.

    Haven't you ever seen Cat's Eye? The cat is trying to save the old defenseless people from the troll living in the wall that sucks their soul out of them.

    What these people need is a record player and a fan, stat.

    But fans suck all of the air out of a room and they'll suffocate. Haven't you ever been to South Korea?

    That might be the stupidest thing I have ever read. How saddening that medical professionals in Korea actually believe something as retarded as fan blades being able to split atoms or create vacuums.

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