How Your Pet Is Trying To Warn You That You Are Going To Die

How Your Pet Is Trying To Warn You That You Are Going To Die

Imagine you are sick, lying in some nursing
home bed hoping that you will make a miraculous recovery. Then one day a cat that has been adopted by
the nursing home staff visits your bed. It curls up at your side, only for the nurses
to give you a strange, sympathetic look. That’s because whenever this cat chooses
a certain person that patient seems to die shortly after. This might sound unscientific and perhaps
preposterous to you, but in 2007 an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine
said just that, that a cat seemed to know when people were on their way out. We should say that the patients at the nursing
home were already terminally ill, but not necessarily on death’s door, yet when the
cat visited a certain patient they died just after. It confused the staff at the nursing home
to say the least. The cat’s name was Oscar and it was two
years old when it started it’s routine of visiting people right before they left this
planet. The nursing home in question was called Steere
House nursing home and it was located in Rhode Island, USA. It’s reported that for a number of years
it sometimes craned his neck while curling up next to a patient. When that happened the staff called the family
in, knowing this person didn’t have long left. Over the years the cat did this to 50 patients. So, what was going on? Did the cat have a super-sense? Could it literally smell death? A doctor wrote about this strange phenomenon
in 2018 and he said he talked to physicians at the nursing home and they indeed told him
the story had been corroborated by a number of medical staff. This was no charlatan kind of doctor and he
had actually won a Pulitzer Prize for a book called “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography
of Cancer.” The person who first wrote the article about
Oscar and his skills said, “No one dies on the third floor unless Oscar pays a visit
and stays a while.” The story of Oscar and his sixth sense has
elicited a lot of curiosity from doctors and the public alike. What people wanted to know is just how did
he do it, because it seemed certain that this cat really did get it right time after time. The BBC asked this question, and after interviewing
feline experts the conclusion was not that the cat was psychic, but perhaps that felines
can smell death, something that humans cannot smell. Maybe when we are about to die the body emits
certain chemicals and Oscar could pick up on that. In another article on the now famous cat,
an animal expert told the BBC, “I don’t doubt that the cat in this case is sensing
death approaching. There’s little we really know about it but
as the body is shutting down, I would hypothesize that the cat is sensing and smelling the organs
shutting down.” That same article said that there is some
research that might suggest that dogs can sense when we are really wick with certain
cancers, but that research is not conclusive just yet. There is some anecdotal evidence for this,
but we can’t yet call it science. There was a case when a woman’s Chihuahua
reportedly detected her breast cancer, not just once, but on three occasions. There is also some proof that dogs can detect
when someone is about to have an epileptic seizure, and this has led to some dogs being
given to people as alert dogs. One woman said her alert dog licks her about
40 minutes before a major seizure so she can prepare for it. Perhaps dogs just sense this, they know when
something is wrong, and perhaps Oscar the cat knew when something was very wrong. Some experts say that with dogs they learned
to sense sickness when they were wolves in packs and had to know when one part of the
pack was ill, but with cats it’s more confusing as they are not pack animals. It’s not only dogs, though, that sense sickness. A story published in the Scientific American
explained that laboratory studies showed how mice could also sense when other mice were
sick. There is additional anecdotal evidence that
tells us some animals might know when something is seriously wrong with a person. Psychology Today published one such story
in which a person’s dog howled like crazy. When the owner was asked why the dog was howling
like that, he said it’s likely because someone somewhere is dying. Then it was discovered that the neighbor just
died. After the death the dog stopped its howling. You can find a whole host of articles out
there that tell us dogs and cats can intuit when something is wrong with us, whether it
be an emotional problems, sickness, or when we are on our way out. A professor at Texas A&M University’s College
of Veterinary Medicine told the Chicago Tribune that this is mainly down to changes in our
behavior, but she also said that dogs or cats might smell sickness or impending death. Ok, so with all this anecdotal proof that
animals are able to do this, what can we actually do with their ability? Well, if animals might be able to predict
death or detect disease early, wouldn’t it be great if humans could do the same. If a smell really is emitted, we should be
able to smell that, too, in the best of worlds. If we can’t smell death and will never smell
death, though, we’ll have to come up with something else. If you’ve seen our show on nursing homes
and what’s called palliative care you’ll know that doctors will give some people a
certain amount of time to live. This is no exact science and doctors often
get it wrong, usually being more optimistic rather than pessimistic. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get it
right? That has led some computer scientists to try
and create an algorithm that is better at predicting death than humans. What one scientist was asked to do was create
the death “sweet spot”. What that means is that people don’t want
to be going into care for more than a year, so if they have longer than that the machine
would say so. On the other hand, people generally don’t
want to die within three months because this gives them little time to prepare and for
the family to prepare, too. What if a machine could say for certain that
a person had, say, six months to live? If you could create an algorithm that estimated
the time just right it would save a lot of people a lot of trouble. Unfortunately cats cannot do this, so the
computer scientists started testing an algorithm. They used over 200,000 patients, with diseases
ranging from cancer to heart and kidney failure. They fed the medical information of deceased
patients into their algorithm. If you could get enough information of what
happened when, perhaps that algorithm could begin guessing how long a person had left. Certain symptoms and behaviors might show
up for people at the same time and so the machine could state that someone likely has
six months left. Doctors of course also have access to such
information and they have a lot of experience. But a machine can access a huge amount of
data very quickly, which is something doctors cannot do. Doctors work with scores of people, but a
machine could work with unlimited people from all over the world if the information was
fed into it. So, that’s what the researchers did. They fed all that information into what’s
called a “deep neural network.” This is an algorithm that is supposed to mimic
how the human brain works. The machine had one task. It was to go through all that information
and then make a decision. It was fed data from 160,000 patients, and
then with the 40,000 patients left it was supposed to give an estimate as to how long
they had to live. It was pretty successful, too. It predicted in nine out of 10 patients that
they would die anytime within three to 12 months and they did die within that time frame. It was 95 percent correct when it predicted
the patient had longer than twelve months to live. Predicting death using artificial intelligence
is a big thing according to an article in Wired in 2019, but that article said the machine
might be biased because doctors have been biased in the past. Doctors might treat races differently and
so that information will be fed into the algorithm and so it will be biased, too. Doctors might also treat people differently
according to their level of wealth, so this could be problematic if we are to trust the
algorithm. The article concluded, “Artificial intelligence
is a promising tool that has shown its utility for diagnostic purposes, but predicting death,
and possibly even determining death, is a unique and challenging area that could be
fraught with the same biases that affect analog physician-patient interactions.” In the UK a massive study was done using the
health data of 500,000 people. It looked at how they lived and what health
issues they had in their life and then predicted early death, meaning dying before the average
age of death in the UK. There was a lot of input from the participants
in this study, from their waist size, to where they worked, what kinds of foods they ate,
how much alcohol they drank and what their skin tone was. An assistant professor of epidemiology and
data science at the University of Nottingham said the algorithm was pretty accurate, and
over 16,000 people from the 500,000 did actually die prematurely over the years the study was
conducted. The scientists used three types of algorithm,
a simple one, a not so simple one, and also a very advanced deep-learning algorithm. The latter guessed premature death 76 percent
in the patients that died during the study and the former guessed it right 64 percent
of the time. The really simple one only 44 percent of the
time. The lead researcher said this about the results:
“We have taken a major step forward in this field by developing a unique and holistic
approach to predicting a person’s risk of premature death by machine-learning. This uses computers to build new risk prediction
models that take into account a wide range of demographic, biometric, clinical and lifestyle
factors for each individual assessed, even their dietary consumption of fruit, vegetables
and meat per day.” It’s still early days and a lot more research
needs to be done, but one day soon a computer might tell you how long you’ve got based
on lots of variables. If you are already very sick perhaps an algorithm
will at least tell you how long you’ve got left and so you can prepare for that. Cats and dogs with very sensitive senses are
still a bit of a mystery to us, and so we are relying more on data than pets to tell
us what chance we have of surviving. This is a controversial topic of course because
what if the machine gets it wrong? What if someone is told they are going to
die and so just gives up? We guess it’s only a matter of time until
we put our trust into these machines, but even if we do perhaps we should never give
up on a miraculous recovery. As for predicting when we’ll die in general
it’s complicated. You can go online now and imput a bunch of
data about yourself into a website and it will then tell you how long you’ll live,
but these things can’t possibly get it right. We suggest you don’t look at these sites. We did and it seems we are going out much
earlier than we expected. The Harvard longevity specialist David Sinclair
appeared on the Joe Rogan Show again recently and he pointed out that you can certainly
embrace healthy habits to live a longer and more fulfilling life, but sometimes you are
just unlucky in the lottery of life. You might have heard of the French woman,
Jeanne Calment, who lived until a ripe old age of 122 and a bit. She didn’t seem to do anything special,
and she only gave up smoking at 117. There is some skepticism concerning the exact
age she died, but she didn’t go pretty sure and that’s a fact. She was cycling at 100, and while she didn’t
have the best heart, coughed a lot, and had rheumatism, she was in good shape throughout
her winter years. With that in mind we might wonder just how
we might predict how old we’ll be when we die. We don’t want you to now start embracing
bad habits, but just know that some people just seem to have the right genes. We have two questions to ask you now. Number one is do you believe that animals
can tell when we are sick or going to die? Number two is what do you think about these
algorithms we have discussed today? Tell us in the comments. Also, be sure to check out our other episode
What Happens When You Die? Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t
forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time.

Comments (100)

  1. Happy Friday the 13th!

  2. Wonder if Oscar ever wondered into the wrong room by accident and caused a patient to flip out for a brief amount of time

  3. My aunt works at a retirement home and has had the same, but with a fly. Whenever there was a fly in a patient's room, they would die shortly after.

  4. Anyone else see this, on the Doctor Sleep movie?

  5. 4:29 “I’m sorry sir, your father has three moths to live.”

  6. He has three moths to live

  7. 6:05 hope that doesn't turn into an ai or something. And do something " terminator " like

  8. I had a cat named fuzzy who had been diagnosed with cancer and he layer by me that way but I didn't die it did

  9. My cat always sleeps with me


  10. Ha i'm not gonna die i'm immorta-

  11. My female dog a German Shepherd named Sharp stayed by my mom at her bed in her house and that night she moved on.

  12. Me:

    My friend: lel the wrote moths not months hehehehe

  13. The music is too loud

  14. What if the cat was doing the killing?

  15. So they take a cat, the cat hangs around a person, and then that person dies. The cat doesn't know you're about to die, it's an assassin.

  16. Yooo my cat's name is Oscar and he always tries to lay on me

  17. My Cat: *Walks up to me and starts purring*
    Me: ⊙﹏⊙

  18. Plot twist: The cat worked for the mafia and the people owed ?

  19. Plot twist. The cat is a killer

  20. "he has three moths to live"


  21. Oh well then just never have a cat

    " We did it boys, Death is no more "

  22. He has three moths to live

  23. I believe this is true, my friends dad passed away(may he Rest In Peace), they had three cats and she said all the cats were staying by her dad for a couple of days(she said her cats don’t usually do that) he passed away.

  24. my 3 cat sleep with me

  25. "he has 3 moths to live" 4:30

  26. I believe it cuz if dogs and cats can see what we can't I'm sure they can do that

  27. if oscar shows up on your door step, what do you do?

  28. This is already proved

  29. Me: “After Watching this"

    My Cat who is Oscar too: “Getting Closer To Me"

    Me: Stay away Oscar!

  30. The thumb nail tho XD

  31. Low key the cat is the killer??

  32. Oscar isn't sensing death. Oscar IS the killer.

  33. What will you do if You're in the Hospital and a Cat got on your side.?

  34. First cat serial killer be like

  35. Joke on u I don't have a pet and I don't go to the nurseing home

  36. This is how many People who are scared of Death.


  37. Use to work in a care home..end of life care it's weird as you can sence death ..
    Had to leave as it got like you could smell death and him breathing on your neck .. ( job was psychologically damaging) I'm a cleaner now

  38. well there's a legend here, that cats can see the angel of death so i guess people knew this long ago

  39. I remember when I'm sick (got asthma and fever) my cat lay on my chest but I'm not dead soooo that men I'm lucky

  40. I'm selling my cat
    ? this is how much I'll earn

  41. Message to anyone that uses the death clock .. that tells you how long you got to live … it is only a joke site for the twisted mind

  42. 3:42 Oscar is nex to that boy…


  43. “He has three moths to live” ?

  44. Me:Just on bed watching this video
    Cat:I will lay beside you
    Me:Im DONE

  45. People: are Littaraly dying while their pets desperately try to warn them

    The internet: memes about Oscar

  46. Back in Croatia, one man's mom died, it was distanced about a kilometer, across a stream, and dog in my aunt's room started barking at a white wall, day after we found out that she died, so its not the smell, we believe they can see something we can't, supernatural, there is no other explanation, and this really did happen… I also have many paranormal sightings myself, but this one few family members witnessed…

  47. Cats dont like me without the proper training.

  48. Plot twist:
    The cat had a very lethal dessease that could only affect those with an already weak inmune system….

  49. I remember my brother's dog warned my parents that my brother was having a seizure when he was young (about 12 years ago). Thankfully he hasn't had one since (knock on wood), but my brother would likely not be alive today if dogs didn't have this ability to sense seizures.

    Side note: My brother's dog sadly passed a few months ago

  50. Humans know also.. it's kinda common sense

  51. Dogs can detect the end of life

  52. Or the cat killed them dun dun duuunnnn

  53. my cat bite my hand puting 4 hole while im having nightmare, lucky i am

  54. my cat never visits me D:

  55. Doctor: yeah you’re all set to go!
    Oscar: I’mma end this whole man’s career

  56. oscar seems like the grim reaper

  57. My cat comes to me when I'm sick

  58. Dying people: thanks the cat for accompanying them.
    Cat: "you fool mortals, I'm here to take your soul"

  59. Well Asian believe that if the dog is howling like crazy means the dog saw a ghost. And is the whole area dogs howl together not only 1. It's kinda creepy especially at night.

  60. It was proved that these patients had special warmer blankets, and the cat simply wanted warmth.

    These people were given these warmer blankets because they were already really weak and the staff basically knew they were gonna go soon.

  61. Don't know why I am watching this high.

  62. It's Friday the 13th I'm happy I didn't die

  63. I would die peacefuly with a cat snuggling by my side

  64. Maybe the cat has a disease that spread to the other peoples

  65. 4:30 "he has three months to live"

  66. I don't own a pet
    I am safe, Yes

  67. Cats are just spiritual creatures.

  68. Imagine when you woke up, you found out that Oscar is carrying a coffin and the dog is carrying flowers.

  69. It makes waaaaaaay more sense that dogs and cats sense when an animal is sick so that they can target that animal as prey. I mean they're predators right?!

  70. My dog started sniffing my mouth whenever he was near me. It was out of the blue. He seemed excited and wouldn't stop unless I pushed him away. He had never done that before. I found out a few days later that I was pregnant. I wasn't dying but he could sense a change in my body that I was completely unaware of.

  71. When you said Oscar I look at my cat Oscar ???? Freaked me out!!!

  72. They can feel the energys frequency vibrations

  73. Maybe the cat is bad luck and whoever it chooses wants them to die

  74. 4:30 he has 3 moths to live?

  75. cats enjoy death everyone knows

  76. Me after watching the video

    LETS BUY A CAT!!1!1!1!1
    LETS BUY A DOG TOO!!1!1!1!1

  77. Plot twist…..Oscar was in Epsteins cell that night

  78. Imagine being told, “You have three moths to live.”

  79. Twist: Kitty actually killed them.

  80. Patient: Sick

    Oscar walks in

    Patient: chuckles, I'm in danger…

  81. The cat is trying to defend you from death but can't

  82. My dog was sniffing my leg the other day. I thought it was weird too

  83. I like how Oscar looks.

  84. I rather not know when I'm going to die. So no thank you to that computer.

  85. Some other animals also know that someone is gonna die .
    It sounds a bit unscientific but it's true .believe it or not.

  86. 'Anecdotal proof' is an oxymoron… Paradox… Or otherwise makes no sense… Anecdotes are specifically NOT proof, at best, anecdotal stories are, at absolute best, evidence… NEVER proof… ? Thank you for the video! I am surprised that you didn't talk about the woman that can smell a very specific condition, she could smell it coming from her husband for some time. When they went to a doctor later, he was diagnosed, but she didn't know what it was until they went to a specialist, and the smell was overpowering, and she smelled it everywhere, they did a double-blind study on here and found that she had a 100% success rate (I seem to recall it was anyway, I'll share a link though…).

  87. Cats can see the Angel of death

  88. Cats can see angel of death.. So they know when we die

  89. That’s it , I’m never adopting another cute kitty ever again , I seen my Cat hanging around my mom lots , almost like my Kitty was saying goodbye to my mom and that my kitty was gonna miss my mom lots , because my mom passed away and my mom was terminally ill from Cancer and my Kitty was saying goodbye to her , I was working lots and my Kitty was saying goodbye to her everyday because my Cat knew my mom was gonna die soon in April 2007 .

  90. What if the cat is the reason there dyeing ?

  91. What if the cause of dead was the cat itself but spares the nurses

  92. who's going to search information ion about oscar after this video

  93. my cat knows that he will bite my feet in a couple minutes.

  94. I believe I'll live till my 100

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