graphic by CyberPiggy
Above you will see a spiritual interpretation of the activity going on in a kitty litter box.
I’ve been reading some horrible stuff lately. I wandered over to the forbidden territory of Scienceblogs.com, and it’s shaken me to the core.
Specifically, I’m scared to touch Brie.
I’ve found out about a stealth bomb that she, along with all others of her species, carries in her innards. This bomb is dropped every time she drops her payload in the kitty litter box.
I can’t really blame her, because this bomb wasn’t designed for humans, but for Rats.
I can’t really blame the Master Designer, because I’ve read the blueprints and the handbook(s), and can’t find anywhere that it was Ordained from On High that humans should pick up Kitty poop from a litter box.
But we can’t dispute the facts on the ground, so to speak.
It seems that Cats carry around in their tummies a little bitty single celled parasite named Toxoplasma gondii. It is intended for Rats, taking up residence in them, causing certain responses to change, even though the Rat continues to feel just fine.
Now Rats are fairly well balanced, stable creatures. It takes a lot for them to get upset. If they run into weeks old garbage, for instance, their response is simply one of pleasurable excitement. Insulation in the roof, they take it in stride.
There is one substance, however, that will throw your normal Rat into a panic:Cat pee.
Any Rat worth it’s salt starts stressing immediately upon picking up the dreaded scent of Cat pee. Where Cat pee is, Kitty cannot be far behind(or ahead, actually).
Once the Rat has become infected with this parasite it ceases to be alarmed by the smell. You can drop your infected Rat in a bucket of Cat pee, and it won’t be unduly stressed, instead swimming around and enjoying itself.
So far, well and good. My feeling is that Rats can take care of themselves. It’s between them and the Cats, and may the best Mammal win. Rather Darwinian, I think.
Alas, if only that were the end of the story. Unfortunately, there is a tragic sequel to this tale that has me looking at my pet with suspicion, and Brie wondering why I’m suddenly so cold towards her. She’s been wondering what on earth she could have done to warrant so much rejection from me.
Well, it’s time to unveil the matter. Here is the brutal truth.
People can get this parasite, as well as Rats.
It’s estimated that perhaps 50 million people in the U.S. alone have it, and several billion world wide.
The Scientists tell us that it doesn’t do very much to Humans unless the immune system is less effective than normal. This is the point where I jump off the bandwagon. This makes me nervous. I never used to catch cold. Now I catch cold several times a year. At specifically what point on the immune system scale do I become vulnerable to parasites in Kitty poop?
The good Doctors say that in advanced cases reaction times are slower and mental function can slow down. I have no mental function to spare. Pregnant mom’s with high levels of this parasite give birth to babies with slightly higher chance of developing Schizophrenia.
Note to self: Call Mother, ask if she had a cat while carrying me. This could explain a great deal.
It doesn’t mean you have to get rid of the family pet, though. This parasite is easily tested for, and easily treated.
All I know is, I’m calling my doctor for testing, as soon as I’m able. That way Brie and I can resume our normal relationship. It makes her feel funny when I wear that little mask and gloves whenever I touch her.
Brie ascending to Heaven in a starburst of Cosmic Energy