Making Rounds With Oscar - Dr. David Dosa
Like many cats, Oscar isn't much for socializing. But the three-year-old tabby does make time for the patients at Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center - as long as they're dying.
Oscar made headlines when word of his apparent ability to sense imminent death, and comfort for the dying, got out. Now Dosa, a geriatrician at the center, tells the stories of the families who witnessed the cat firsthand, often getting the call that their loved ones were dying because a nurse or assistant noticed the cat's behavior.
It helps that Dosa is not a cat person and was a skeptic of the feline angel of death. He is won over by the repeated stories of how the cat seemed to sense what many, even in a nursing home, are unwilling to face. Moreover, he comes to believe that the cat is simply tending to his "family" at the center - Oscar is among several cats who live there - and may have the ability to smell the chemicals given off when cells, and people, die.
it's hardly a scientific book, though. It's ultimately about connections and living in the moment and learning to cope with the realities of death. To that end, Oscar appears to have much to teach.Book 7
The Nylon Road - Parsua Bashi
This graphic novel acknowledges the groundbreaking Persepolis for a memoir of life in Iran.
But unlike that book, which focuses on a childhood in Iran, this book looks more at the adult life of a woman who fled Iran, struggles to learn German and English in her new life in Zurich and tries to learn from a past marked by the Iranian Revolution, the Iraq-Iran War, a rushed marriage that ended with many women's worst fear and overall life as an educated woman in a strictly religious world.
Her decision to showcase her current self talking with who she used to be at those points helps crystallize the daily life of a woman in Iran, the hurdles to staying or to going and, by drawing comparisons to her current life, showing how unfair or uneducated Western minds can be when trying to understand.
It's a perceptive and quiet book that I'd recommend to anyone. This is not a voice we get to hear often.
If you're interested, the first chapter is available here: us.macmillan.com/CMS400/uploadedFiles/Nylon_Road_-_chapter1.pdf