During lunch at work, I peruse the news sites and keep up with all the latest happenings. I do very much enjoy keeping up with the most current events, like the Higgs-Boson particle likely being found. As a science nerd, I am SUPER excited about that one. But then, yesterday, I came across this. Cat Parasite Linked to Suicide Among Women. I mean, REALLY? This Toxoplasma gondii crap lurks in cat poop, waiting to get in your brain. It’s mostly harmless, I guess, unless you’re pregnant, but now it seems that’s spread to all women, because you may be 1.5 times more likely to end it all. This is not welcome news. I have never understood suicide, although I’ve had friends who have gotten that far. I like to wallow in stuff for a few days and then perk up. I’ve noticed the older I get, the more crotchety I get, but I certainly haven’t even remotely contemplated the unthinkable act of doing away with myself. I like myself WAY too much for that. I have, on occasion (ok, maybe a lot), felt the urge to wring some necks, but not my own.
I’m pretty sure with the amount of cat poop I’ve shoveled in my lifetime that it’s unlikely I’m NOT parasited. And I am not the best at washing my hands. I am from the “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” school of thought. After the bathroom, yeah. And after the gym. For some reason the gym disgusts me enough to thoroughly wash my hands afterwards.
Anyway, back to my zombie brain. This story is incredibly fascinating. They found that in rats, this parasite gets in a part of their brains that makes them unafraid of cats, and instead gets all hot and bothered by evoking a sexual response. This, in turn, makes the rat more likely to be eaten by the cat, ensuring the parasite ends up where it really wants to be — in the kitty gut. This is a smart mother-effin’ parasite. Humans don’t even totally understand how the brain works but this parasite is all up in there, making you do stuff. A regular puppeteer.
Maybe I should leave my brain to science. I probably have a ton of parasites in there.Who knows what else is lurking?
So in conclusion, if anyone notices me being mopey for more than 3 days (this is the usual time limit I allow myself for moping), please call the CDC and tell them my cat made me a zombie and to please do something about it.