The death cat and professional sports scandals

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Oscar the hospice cat (AP Photo) I’ve always been interested in the so-called “sixth sense” of animals and humans. I used to read those Globe mini mags (the ones you can pick up while waiting in line at the supermarket) about “uncanny cats” and other similar eerie and paranormal topics. I am curious how animals are able to sense geologic events like earthquakes and tsunamis, how they can know when humans are sick or hurt, how they know to sit in front of the door (or jump into the window) when you (or someone you live with) is almost home, how they can predict exactly when you’re going to die . . . uh, wait . . . what?

Yes, everybody is talking about the cuddly hospice cat that can sense impending death. Here’s a quote from today’s article, “Oscar the cat predicts patients’ deaths,” from the AP:

Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours. His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led the staff to call family members once he has chosen someone. It usually means they have less than four hours to live.

Oscar the hospice cat (AP Photo) I am intrigued by this story and its “psychic kitty” implications. MSNBC is also covering it. This now-famous cat Oscar looks a lot like a longer-haired version of my kitten/cat Eli.

So . . . what is ESP? Is there a missing sixth sense in humans? Have humans lost the ability to sense subtle (but important) electrical charges or chemicals? Is this still the case if our, uh, “doors of perception” are opened?

And now for your sporting news.

Have the professional sports headlines ever been so screwed up? I’ve been thinking about mentioning this for a while, but the scandals just keep getting worse. David Stern (AP Photo) The NBA is in trouble with allegations of a crooked referee, Tim Donaghy, who fixed games (not to mention its crappy playoff system where the best teams regularly meet before the NBA Finals). The NFL is under fire with the off-field activities of a number of players, headlined by Michael Vick (dogfighting allegations) and Adam “Pacman” Jones (coercion stemming from a nightclub shooting). And Major League Baseball is trying to deal with Barry Bonds on the verge of breaking Hank Aaron’s beloved all-time home run record (and the forever-ongoing steroids scandals in general). So, I guess the NHL must be feeling pretty good right about now . . . except that no one cares about the NHL. Here’s a good summary of the current NBA, NFL, and MLB controversies from ESPN columnist Pat Forde: “For Stern, Goodell and Selig, hot seat has rarely been hotter.”

Meanwhile, the Tour de France 2007 has been a mushrooming disaster of doping and disqualified riders, dating back to last year with the (now unrecognized) winner Floyd Landis. And then there’s the recent murder-suicide of Chris Benoit, adding to professional wrestling’s legacy of untimely deaths and tragedies (which may kill the WWE yet). And since I’ve shifted from sports to entertainment with that mention of pro wrestling, let me also say that it amazes me how many Hollywood starlets are doing (hard?) time these days (mainly for drunk driving and drug possession). Don’t you just despise humanity sometimes?

Bill Hicks Hey, but speaking of jail . . . what about doing time in the Philippines and practicing Michael Jackson dance moves with your fellow inmates? That’s cool, right? You should watch these orange-suited prisoners reenact “Thriller” on YouTube.

Here’s Tom with the weather.

So, all this talk about sports scandals and dumb celebrities makes me want to listen to Tool’s Ænima. And maybe Bill Hicks too.

“Today young men on acid realize that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There’s no such thing as death. Life is only a dream and we’re the imagination of ourselves.”

(Read more quotations at

See you in Arizona Bay.

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