When I first heard about this story, I thought it would be really upsetting for people to see this cat in their room - after all, he only stays in the rooms of the dying. What I didn't realize was that this takes place on the dementia ward of a nursing home, albeit one with an enlightened policy on resident animals. Everyone is dying. and towards the end, there is often acceptance and even welcoming. While we can never know exactly what the patients were aware of, there was only one report of a family member blocking Oscar's access to a loved one's room - and that was in an effort to keep the loved one alive until another family member could arrive. No one reported that the cat's presence caused distress. Dr. Dosa interviews the families of patients who had Oscar with them while they were dying in an effort to figure out what was going on with the cat's uncanny talent. He also imparts interesting information about dementia and dementia patients. A fascinating book.