Skip to comments.How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy (long, but interesting)
Posted on 02/14/2012 5:36:58 AM PST by nuconvert
Jaroslav Flegr is no kook. And yet, for years, he suspected his mind had been taken over by parasites that had invaded his brain. So the prolific biologist took his science-fiction hunch into the lab. What hes now discovering will startle you. Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia?
No one would accuse Jaroslav Flegr of being a conformist. A self-described sloppy dresser, the 63-year-old Czech scientist has the contemplative air of someone habitually lost in thought, and his still-youthful, square-jawed face is framed by frizzy red hair that encircles his head like a ring of fire.
Certainly Flegrs thinking is jarringly unconventional. Starting in the early 1990s, he began to suspect that a single-celled parasite in the protozoan family was subtly manipulating his personality, causing him to behave in strange, often self-destructive ways. And if it was messing with his mind, he reasoned, it was probably doing the same to others.
The parasite, which is excreted by cats in their feces, is called Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii or Toxo for short) and is the microbe that causes toxoplasmosisthe reason pregnant women are told to avoid cats litter boxes.
Since the 1920s, doctors have recognized that a woman who becomes infected during pregnancy can transmit the disease to the fetus, in some cases resulting in severe brain damage or death. T. gondii is also a major threat to people with weakened immunity: in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, before good antiretroviral drugs were developed, it was to blame for the dementia that afflicted many patients at the diseases end stage. Healthy children and adults, however, usually experience nothing worse than brief flu-like symptoms before quickly fighting off the protozoan, which thereafter lies dormant inside brain cells-
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
Attack the Viking Kitties!
Reading the atlantic will make you crazy.
This is a very interesting read. What if it’s all true?! Our little kitties drive us insane and then kill us! I hope not, because it will mean that my evil, feline hating spouse was right all along.
Can you take this man seriously?
Well we certainly cant take him seriously now that his brain has been taken over by house cats and their lil evil parasite friends. I wonder what he used to look like before this evil plot to take over his brain.
The Atlantic magazine, much like NPR and Wikipedia, is generally excellent if there is no particular political aspect to the story.
Thanks for posting. Very interesting article.
If you think kitties are bad, just try an 85 lb. Pitador and a 100 lb. Great Dane. Pray for me.
Sounds like our little kitties improve the personalities of many more people than they make crazy.
So is the label on a Campbell’s soup can.
Might explain Crazy Cat Ladies....
Hump? What hump? :-)
Shouldn't that be "LoL - Cats"?
My then-wife got a cat over my objections, including my paranoia
about the schizophrenia thing (and that was back in the 1990s).