Take me down to the parasite kitty: Wait, what's this about cats wanting to infect me?

Take me down to the parasite kitty: Wait, what's this about cats wanting to infect me?
Please say hello to your new cat overlords. (Photo via Wikipedia Commons)

Today's scary news item comes from the National Public Radio website, which is reporting that scientists have found that a parasite in cats has been linked to an increased chance of suicide in Danish women.

A study of more than 45,000 Danish women found that those infected with this feline parasite were 1.5 times more likely to attempt suicide than women who weren't infected.

That's not a huge increase, but it's probably too big to have been caused by chance, says Teodor Postolache, a University of Maryland psychiatrist and senior author of the paper, which was published in the "Archives of General Psychiatry."

Sigh.

Perhaps it's a good thing – after all – that I don't own a cat anymore.

I always had a cat around the house growing up with the last one we had being exclusively mine. I had to give her up to my parents when I want to college, though, and I haven't had one since. The apartments I've lived in typically haven't allowed cats, and my wife is terribly allergic to them.

This is too bad because I love having a cat around, even whenever I was in elementary school and convinced that our cat was a vampire in the style of Bunnicula because it kept hanging around my neck too much when I was trying to lie down on the couch. Cats are a comforting animal that don't want too much attention nor need you to take them for walks. In my mind, pet perfection.

Today, however, I found out that cats carry around a parasite that can potentially harm humans – giving me no choice but to believe this is part of their greater plan to take over the world. Allergies and hairballs were but a small part of their master plan.

Cat overlords, here we come.

Oh, what the heck. I'm OK with that. As long as they still don't need me to take them on a walk.

• Joe Grace is a writer and journalist who lives in Chicago with his wife. Join your friends and neighbors in liking Going for Gusto on Facebook or following me on Twitter.

Filed under: Animals, Joe Grace Columns

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