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Extended Audio Sample Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat Audiobook, by David Dosa Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,387 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Dosa Narrator: Ray Porter Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2010 ISBN: 9781455196302
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An otherwise ordinary cat—he’d sooner give you his back or a sideways glance than curl up on your lap—Oscar has the uncanny ability to predict when people are about to die. Adopted by staff members at Steere House nursing home when he was a kitten, the three-year-old tabby has presided over the deaths of more than twenty-five nursing home residents thus far. His mere presence at the bedside is viewed by physicians and nursing-home staff as an almost absolute indicator of impending death, considered a blessing because it allows staff members to notify families that the end is near and because he provides companionship to those who would otherwise have died alone.

Dr. Dosa uses Oscar and the stories of several patients to examine end-of-life care as it exists today for the family and caregivers of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Heartfelt, inspiring, and sometimes even funny, Making Rounds with Oscar allows listeners into a world that is often misunderstood and rarely seen from the outside.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I love this book—Oscar has much to teach us about empathy and courage. I couldn’t put it down.”

    Sarah Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants

  • “Both touching and humorous, [this book] isn’t just about Oscar. It’s about listening and letting go. It’s also about the inner workings of a nursing home for Alzheimer’s patients, the people who work there, the rhythm of their days, and the six other cats who also call it home, cats who also bring comfort to the dementia patients but do not share Oscar’s talents of premonition.”

    USA Today

  • “This touching and engaging book is a must-read for more than just cat lovers; anyone who enjoys a well-written and compelling story will find much to admire in its unlikely hero.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Beautifully written, heartwarming…Told with profound insight and great respect for all involved, this is more than just a cat story (although it will appeal to fans of Vicki Myron’s Dewey).”

    Library Journal

  • “Dosa paints a realistic picture of the complex physical, psychological, and emotional challenges associated with dementia…This audiobook will appeal to family members and caregivers of dementia patients; physicians, nurses, social workers, patient advocates, and other health care professionals; animal lovers; and humanitarians from all walks of life for its poignant insights into the power of the human spirit and the bond between humans and animals. Audie nomated and film and television actor Ray Porter brings the text to life with his excellent fully-voiced narration. Kudos to Porter on his Eastern European accent in particular, which, to my ear, was pitch perfect.”

    SoundCommentary.com

  • “Oscar captured my heart, and Dr. Dosa opened my mind. This extraordinary book offers a physician’s perspective on death and dying, as well as insights on family love, companionship without question, and the life lessons that only the old can provide. As if that weren’t enough, it proves the old adage: there are no ordinary cats.”

    Brenda Copeland, editor

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda Myers | 2/20/2014

    " Great book to read when you have someone in your life with Alsheimer's. Very uplifting for such a complex disease. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JJ | 2/19/2014

    " Great story of a cat on the dementia ward and his role in comforting terminal patients. I also enjoyed the doctor's perspective of dementia and terminal illnesses. Not a sad book but a happy one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lkelley | 2/16/2014

    " not what I thought it would be. really the story centers more around the doctor and his patients than Oscar, which was a bit disappointing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 2/12/2014

    " I had read an article about this cat who lived in a nursing home and seemed to predict deaths, so I was interested to read the whole book about his story. The author does a pretty good job, but he writes from the perspective of interviewing family members of people who died with Oscar the cat by their side in the nursing home. This gives you more perspective about the people and how the cat helped them and their families. I found the most interesting story to be when a patient was moved to the hospital and Oscar took up his post on the patient's bed even though the patient wasn't there - he did die in the hospital. Not great, but definitely interesting if you're a cat person. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nona | 2/10/2014

    " Moved kinda slow, but overall a heartwarming story, even if you are not a cat lover. The story is told from the perspective of the doctor who in an alzheimers unit, so there is even information about what it like to care for someone with alzheimers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/30/2014

    " This book was totally worth the read! I work with clients who have different forms of Dementia on a daily basis and if you do the same or have a loved one stricken with this disease, read this book! It gives you the insight that you are not alone and you are not the only one feeling the emotions you are having. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim Gleaton | 1/27/2014

    " I like the book. It helps you understand how animals are aware. It is a heart warming story but a little boring after the first few chapters. I did like the way they choose to focus on the cats aloof personality. I would not mind a kitty beside me when I pass on. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tamara Blair | 1/13/2014

    " ok- this is hard to review! It is not a great book; the writing can get a bit pedestrian, but it is such a beatiful story. Although I love animals, I do not usually read animal themed books (I never read "Marley and Me"), but I found this arc in my box and having a sick day decided to read it before passing it on. And I am so glad I did! Oscar the car is an amazing creature, not unlike every other cat I know! And hte stories told are heartwarming and sad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bill McDavid | 1/7/2014

    " My rating of 5 stars is for the cat. Not so much for the writing. I really enjoyed this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 12/18/2013

    " Very heartwarming/heartbreaking stories on people with dementia and how this cat helps their families cope during their last days. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen Suglia | 11/23/2013

    " Very enjoyable read. Although many could view as depressing, it offers an introduction to the heartbreaking world of Alzheimers and the power of a very special cat helping seniors transition from one world to the next. Even more moving if you've ever owned a cat and yes I'd take the cat over ICU. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mandy | 11/9/2013

    " I love it! I started reading it today and I couldn't put it down. My grandma died from alzheimer's disease and this book really hit home for me. I have been thinking about my grandma a lot recently. But it didn't make me feel sad. I felt hopeful and at peace. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tania | 8/18/2013

    " I loved how Oscar act to every patient. He accompany them at their last moment in life "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alison McDonough | 3/26/2013

    " I love any book that shows the depth of animal perception....an amazing cat who helped family members know when it was time for their loved one to pass on....dementia patients-this was close to my heart since my Grandmom had Alzheimer's. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel von Glahn | 1/15/2013

    " I'm not a cat lover but I still could appreciate the importance of an animal in ones life, especially when it is most needed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 10/24/2012

    " I really learned a lot about alzheimer's disease from this book. Of course, the best part of the book was the exceptionally astute cat, Oscar. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen Cloos | 9/25/2012

    " Great book about what happens at the end of life with Dementia patients and a cat that tries to help them, and their families, to cope with the loss. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kay | 9/19/2012

    " I really liked this book even though the reality of what families of dementia patients go through was quite heart breaking. The stories of this little cat, Oscar, being there to comfort patients and often family members in the final hours was very touching. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natalie Gamble | 8/2/2012

    " I loved this book! Not only did it express perfectly how I often feel about my job as a nurse, it also helped open my eyes a little more to Alzheimers and what loved ones of people with Alheimers go through. Very well written. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jon | 11/5/2011

    " I bailed on this book about two-thirds in. As much as I liked the subject, the author is not much of a writer. The book was writen for the easy consumption of sentimental geriatrics. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susie | 7/14/2011

    " This book is a must read for anyone who is helping someone with dementia and/or cat lovers! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 6/28/2011

    " I thought this book was just ok... I wasn't expecting the tone to be so solemn! I also work in a nursing home with several dementia-sufferers, so I can connect with the author on that level. I was hoping the book would be more light-hearted, though. Definitely a downer.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherrie | 6/20/2011

    " More about dealing with dementia than the cat who appears when someone is about to die. Non fiction and very interesting! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 6/16/2011

    " Great book about what happens at the end of life with Dementia patients and a cat that tries to help them, and their families, to cope with the loss. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deshay | 6/14/2011

    " I read this book for 2 reasons: I like cats and my mother has Alzheimer's. I now understand both a little bett "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nohreen | 5/22/2011

    " An interesting read about a very interesting cat named Oscar. I find it sweet that Oscar seems to know exactly when an ill person usually afflicted with Alzheimer is soon to die and that he would stay with them until they draw their last breath. To date, he had done this about 50 times already. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tawnya | 4/28/2011

    " Interesting book that makes the mystery of cats even more intriguing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christine | 4/23/2011

    " Interesting story of how a doctor comes to not only believe in the powers of love from a cat, but also his patients along the way. Definitely an easy read; took me two days. I had a hard time putting it down. "

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About the Author

Dr. David Dosa is a geriatrician and an assistant professor of medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. An essay he wrote for the New England Journal of Medicine was the basis of this book. He lives with his family in Barrington, Rhode Island.

About the Narrator

Ray Porter has garnered fourteen Earphones Awards, two Audie nominations, and a multitude of enthusiastic reviews for his sparkling narration of audiobooks. He has also appeared in numerous films and television shows, including Frasier, ER, Will & Grace, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Almost Famous. He has most recently received Audible’s Narrator of the Year Award. He is a fifteen-year veteran of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.