Oscar FAQs

How old is Oscar?
Oscar is now 4 years old having come to Steere House in 2005.

Where did Oscar come from?
Oscar was adopted by the nursing home after the death of the home’s first cat. I believe he came to the home through a newspaper advertisement but the details of where he came from are not known to me.

Is Oscar friendly?
He’s a cat! It depends on the day of the week and whether the wind is blowing from the east or west. Truthfully, some days he will come and sit on my lap craving attention. Other days, he wants nothing to do with me. And to think I made him a household name!

Where does Oscar live?
Oscar resides wherever he wants to on the locked third floor of the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island. He has on occasion escaped the confines of the third floor—but he’s always back at the door when he knows it’s feeding time.

Is Oscar available for breeding?
After Oscar’s story went worldwide, the nursing home experienced a blitz of phone calls asking if Oscar’s sperm was available. Alas, the answer is no as Oscar is neutered.

Why do you think Oscar does it?
Truthfully, your guess is as good as mine. I’ve had experts telephone me to discuss it. My sense is he perceives a scent or pheromone that is released from dying cells. It is well known that dying cells release ketones, a sweet smelling chemical that is also found on the breaths of diabetics with elevated sugars.  I’d also like to believe that Oscar knows what he is doing is important.

Is Oscar alone in what he does?
Oscar is unique but hardly alone in what he does. I’ve heard from many people with similar stories. Shortly after Oscar’s publicity, there was a story from Ohio about a dog living in a nursing home that was similarly attuned.  I’d like to direct everyone with a story to the contest forum.  You could win a signed book and share your story on-line.

I love Oscar’s story. How do I donate money to make more nursing homes animal friendly?

Please see the donations tab under About Oscar for links to some worthy non-profits.   Keeping animals is not cheap and your local nursing home probably does so with contributions from their staff and the families of patients they care for.  If you would like to donate to Steere House to keep Oscar and the other animals healthy and well fed, see their website at http://www.SteereHouse.org
Also,  The Delta Society (http://www.deltasociety.org) is a worthy charity that sponsors greater awareness of the benefits of animal-human interaction in addition to providing pet education programs.