Monday, March 29, 2010

Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat by David Dosa, M.D.

I was looking forward to reading this book as I learned of Oscar's uncanny ability to detect the "sweet smell of death" from the July 2007 New England Journal of Medicine article by the author. I wanted to understand Oscar better, but instead ended up learning more about dementia and Alzheimer's debilitating effects on patients and their families.
Oscar, one of the six resident cats, was adopted as a kitten by staff members and lives on the 3rd floor of Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rhode Island, where Dr. Dosa cares for his advanced dementia patients. When Oscar senses that a resident is facing imminent death, he will jump on the patient's bed and stay with her. This in turn alerts the nurse to contact the patient's family. Sometimes Oscar is the only companion for the dying patient...
This is an informative and touching story about a gifted cat and the heartaches one grapples with when caring for loved ones with dementia. It also reminds me of the comforting presence of our pets.

Caught by Harlan Coben

A missing high school girl, an accused pedophile who may be innocent, and a reporter who wants to get the story right are all pieces in what adds up to be a great thriller. The characters are interesting, the twists are believable, and this is classic Coben. I loved it!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Deep Shadow by Randy Wayne White

Doc Ford and friends are back in a new thriller by Randy Wayne White. Doc, Tomlinson and Will Chaser are treasure hunting in a Florida lake when an underwater avalanche traps Tomlinson and Will with a limited supply of air. Doc works to rescue them while also battling two on-the-run convicts who want in on the treasure. Oh, and there may be a huge alligator or some other sort of lake-dwelling monster that wants to eat them all. It's great stuff!