Saturday, March 29, 2014

Audio Book Review of Making the Rounds with Oscar by David Dosa

Synopsis: "A remarkable cat. A special gift. A life-changing journey. They thought he was just a cat. When Oscar arrived at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rhode Island he was a cute little guy with attitude. He loved to stretch out in a puddle of sunlight and chase his tail until he was dizzy. Occasionally he consented to a scratch behind the ears, but only when it suited him. In other words, he was a typical cat. Or so it seemed. It wasn't long before Oscar had created something of a stir. Apparently, this ordinary cat possesses an extraordinary gift: he knows instinctively when the end of life is near. Oscar is a welcome distraction for the residents of Steere House, many of whom are living with Alzheimer's. But he never spends much time with them--until they are in their last hours. Then, as if this were his job, Oscar strides purposely into a patient's room, curls up on the bed, and begins his vigil. Oscar provides comfort and companionship when people need him most. And his presence lets caregivers and loved ones know that it's time to say good-bye. Oscar's gift is a tender mercy. He teaches by example: embracing moments of life that so many of us shy away from. Making Rounds with Oscar is the story of an unusual cat, the patients he serves, their caregivers, and of one doctor who learned how to listen. Heartfelt, inspiring, and full of humor and pathos, this book allows readers to take a walk into a world rarely seen from the outside, a world we often misunderstand."

My Review: I hate to say I was disappointed in this book. I was really looking forward to a touching book about a cat who gives comfort to patients and their families. Instead I ended up with a book from the doctor's perspective, where he questions whether the cat really brought comfort and a series of unemotional interviews with former patient's family members. The book also seemed to have an agenda as to more ethical questions about treating common illnesses at the end of a dementia patient's life. After just recently finishing Still Alice, this one fell flat on the Alzheimer and dementia view point. I kept waiting for that special, bring tears to your eyes cat moment (think Dewey the Library Cat) but it just never came. Sadly, this one just didn't cut it for me and fell short in many aspects. The on thing I did learn though, is if I ever get to that point in my life I want to go to Steere House and live with all those cats.
My Rating: I so wanted to like this book but it just didn't hit me on the emotional level I was expecting or wanted.  Even the narrator on the Audio seemed a little bored.  I can only give it One Paw and a Stump Wag.

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