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As reported today in the Boston Globe, Oscar the cat comforts the dying at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island. Oscar provides more than your usual does of animal therapy: he curls up on the beds of those who are about to die, often before anyone else is aware that a particular patient's remaining hours are few. Oscar purrs deeply, providing comfort and beauty to a life's close.
Thinking outside the canine box when it comes to service animals, from Newsday.com:
...Training a service cat can be more challenging than your average golden retriever. "Cats are a harder package to put together," Knowlton concedes. "You have to get one that's not afraid of anything, and who will listen. And she needs to be unobtrusive—if I bring Pushette to a restaurant, she needs to stay in her basket," which is attached to Knowlton's motorized wheelchair.
Veterinarian and cat specialist Dr Kim Kendall has recently conducted a survey of cat owners around Sydney, Australia to try to determine reasons why cats might urinate inside the house.
Her findings support a hypothesis that cats who are "bullied" by other neighbourhood cats, or struggling to maintain a territory, will "mark" their territory with urine in a desperate attempt to claim it. Another consideration is that stress can prevent the bladder from filling, causing more frequent urination.