Like something straight out of a Stephen King novel, Oscar the Cat has the uncanny ability to identify when people are within hours of death. He will sit next to them in their final hours.
Through the epochs of time, Cats have been both revered and persecuted for their perceived supernatural nature. The ancient Egyptians were the ones who first domesticated cats, starting around 2000 B.C. The animal achieved a sacred status in the Land of the Nile. The earliest feline cat goddess recorded was called Mafdet and is described in the Pyramid Texts as killing a serpent with her claws. But the most famous cat goddesses in the world, first revered by the ancient Egyptians were Bastet (also known as Bast, Pasch, Ubasti) and the lion-headed Sekhmet.
There has always been an aura around cats that gives them a numinous quality. Many myths and superstitions involving cats goes back to this newspaper story's main character wonderous talent. Obviously to have a cat go up and "identify" someone who's going to die can be a threatening experience. That is why the cat was placed in history as a witch's familiar. Both were mysterious and tapped into a side of our consciousness which is unknown and feared.
Here's a link to a history of Egyptian cats. It is pretty interesting.