logansrogue: (Mooshie Face)
WARNING: In the comments of the article linked below is talk of feline cruelty. So if you do click on the link, be wary of that.

The insensitively titled "How Your Cat is Making You Crazy" at the Atlanic:

"Compared with uninfected men, males who had the parasite were more introverted, suspicious, oblivious to other people’s opinions of them, and inclined to disregard rules. Infected women, on the other hand, presented in exactly the opposite way: they were more outgoing, trusting, image-conscious, and rule-abiding than uninfected women."

Considering I've been all those things all my life, and I love the way I am, I would hate to have those things taken away from me by fixing what toxoplasmosis might have done to me. I don't even know if I have the parasite, but considering I was stuffing my face in cats bellies since I was fast enough to chase them down, I probably have them. I'm probably teeming with them, considering how outgoing, trusting and image-conscious I am. And I go into a panic attack if I break rules. But that might be my Catholic upbringing, and Mum's dour, disappointed stare if I did the wrong thing. Just maybe. Or maybe she's got toxoplasmosis too?

ETA: I'm being facetious above. It's only after coming back to read that I realised I sounded serious.

"Compared with uninfected people of the same sex, infected men were more likely to wear rumpled old clothes; infected women tended to be more meticulously attired, many showing up for the study in expensive, designer-brand clothing."


"In contrast, the infected women were the most trusting of all subjects. “They just did what they were told,” he says."

Hahaha. Yeah, no. I wouldn't drink an unidentified liquid, no matter who the fuck asked. That's a STUPID thing to do. And it could well be that I have that parasite all up in my business.

"When under emotional strain, he read, women seek solace through social bonding and nurturing. In the lingo of psychologists, they’re inclined to “tend and befriend.” Anxious men, on the other hand, typically respond by withdrawing and becoming hostile or antisocial. Perhaps he was looking at flip sides of the same coin."

Oh yay! Gender essentialist clap-trap! I'm sure that's going to bolster your case, brother.

He’s published some data, he tells me, that suggest infected males might have elevated testosterone levels. Possibly for that reason, women shown photos of these men rate them as more masculine than pictures of uninfected men. “I want to investigate this more closely to see if it’s true,” he says. “Also, it could be women find infected men more attractive. That’s something else we hope to test.”

...Wait, WHAT? LOL!

“Can you guess from observing someone whether they have the parasite—myself, for example?,” I ask.

“No,” he says, “the parasite’s effects on personality are very subtle.”

This made me laugh, I'm not sure why.

By that he means that infected men like the smell of cat pee—or at least they rank its scent much more favorably than uninfected men do.

I have never met anyone that likes the smell of cat pee. What the hell? Where do they find these people?!

Displaying the characteristic sex differences that define many Toxo traits, infected women have the reverse response, ranking the scent even more offensive than do women free of the parasite.

Wait... WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE that don't find cat piss offensive?! WHO? It smells TERRIBLE. LOL! I mean, if I had to smell that or dog shit, I'd smell the cat's piss, but still. It's waste, of course it smells terrible to people. I am so confused as to why the smell of cat piss would be offensive to people carrying toxo! Aren't they supposed to want to be near cats?!

The sniff test was done blind and also included urine collected from a dog, horse, hyena, and tiger.


“Is it possible cat urine may be an aphrodisiac for infected men?,” I ask. “Yes. It’s possible. Why not?” says Flegr.

Yeah, I doubt getting your dude to sniff cat's piss is going to be a sure-fire way to fun in the bedroom. I just don't see it happening. "Hey honey, sniff my cat's wee. Don't you feel randy now?"

The article ends with the journalist finding out that, despite exhibiting some of the personality traits of someone with T. Gondii, they are in fact negative. Waa-waa-waa-WWWAAAAH. I liked this comment:

Vet student here... This super long article fails to mention until the very end that a cat infected with T. gondii only sheds unsporulated oocysts in its feces for only 1-2 weeks EVER because it develops antibodies against the parasite. Also, it takes a few days  for the oocysts to become infective, so a person who cleans the litter box everyday has an extremely low chance of becoming infected. Just gotta wash your hands! People are way more likely to get infected with T. gondii by eating undercooked meat, as the parasite encysts in the muscle tissue of cattle, pigs, etc. when they pick it up from the environment, or by not washing their produce or their hands. Cook your meat and wash your hands!!! The cats are not completely at fault!

Since I only started handling cat litter in the past few years, am very meticulous about keeping my hands clean (wash them after handling outdoor cats, litter, and every other bloody thing) and prefer my meat well done, I could be quite safe. And even if I wasn't? I like the many strange parts of my personality. I'd thank the little bastards in my brain for encouraging the best in me. What else can I do? There's no getting rid of them! LOL! And really, for this:

I would put up with just about anything. I'm not me without my little kitty friends. Whatever that entails.

(I should note that there's a lot of information in the article leading to very interesting studies about the effects of toxoplasmosis on animals. I'm interested to hear about those. And in the case of schizophrenia, I'm sure the toxo link is an important one to study. I just think, by and large, it's not something that most people need to worry about, and I doubt it has enough of an effect on people to really warrant any panic.)
logansrogue: (Mooshie Face)
Lenny has been scarce since Mum and Dad went on holidays. He misses Dad so much. He's really bonded to him, and he is bummed out about Dad not being around. He was scarce like this when Xena died too.

I hope he comes back when Dad does. I can't bear to lose my boy because he's too depressed to be around. :(


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April 2017



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