xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: Don't blame me, blame the cat parasites!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Don't blame me, blame the cat parasites!

I had some blood work done by my doctor last week. Since my cousin died, I've been paranoid that there's something wrong with me that has just yet to be diagnosed, so I went in there and said "Take ALL THE FLUIDS!" It turns out that she can test me for stuff but it's more likely, given my family history, that I'll be taken down by breast cancer or heart disease, and these things aren't likely to turn up in a regular old "take my fluids" type test, but whatever. I have insurance, let's do it.

Not surprisingly, there is nothing wrong with me. Psychologically, yes, but nothing of importance showed up on the blood work, anyway.

Nothing, except.... I tested very high for having antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii, which is a parasite normally found in cats.

"Cats?" you say. "Why would you have a parasite normally found in cats?" "Oh, you must be new here," I answer. Here. Read these:

Apparently up to a third of the population has this parasite, but it mostly just sits there doing nothing (as far as you know) and is only really dangerous to your physical health if you're pregnant or if you have a weakened immune system. You get it from emptying the litter box, or I guess when your cat shoves his asshole in your face for you to closely inspect. You know... like they do.

Artwork by Allie Brosh. OF COURSE.

Typically, the parasite is shit out by the cat and then rodents scavenge around (ew) and pick it up from there. Once inside the mouse, the parasite needs to return to the cat in order to complete its life cycle, so it fucks with the mouse brain and makes it think that the cat isn't really as scary as it actually is. So the dumbass parasite-infected mouse gets closer to the cat, thinking it's his new cat buddy, but man is he wrong, and BOOM! He's cat dinner, and the parasite get to go back home.

And that's how Toxoplasma gondii is supposed to work. But what happens when it gets into the human brain? Well, scientists don't really know, actually, but they have done studies and they've found that "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." Other studies have shown an increased risk of suicide and, um... neuroticism.

Dude, I've been neurotic my whole fucking life, I don't need a cat parasite to make that happen. In the meantime, however, I've decided to play the "Toxo Card" whenever I can. What's that, kids? Did I forget to make you dinner? Well, it's not my fault; I have cat parasites!!! And oh I'm sorry, officer. Was I dancing in the street, naked, singing Rolling in the Deep at the top of my lungs? That wasn't me singing, that was the Toxoplasma talking! I can't be held responsible for my actions, man, after all.... MOTHERFUCKING CAT PARASITES!