Author Krista Tibbs

Crazy cat ladies and mad cows

In Commentary, Light Menu, Science on September 17, 2012 at 1:51 pm
Over the summer, I celebrated my birthday with a single cupcake and a can of tuna for my two cats. Shortly thereafter I read an article about how crazy cat ladies have a higher risk of suicide. After wondering if my tax dollars paid for that study, I became slightly alarmed. Does a person know when she is on her way to being crazy cat lady? Or is it one of those things that only your friends can see and you wouldn’t believe them if they told you? I spent several panicked minutes gauging every interaction with Spunk and Teddy against the crazy-o-meter, but then I came to my senses.

I have cats because they are amusing and furry. This doesn’t make me insane; in fact it could be the most normal thing about me.

The suicide article about cat owners was not an issue of mental and emotional health; it was about a particular parasite, T. gondii, that somehow changes a person’s brain and drives her to strange behavior. I find that creepy and gross, for sure, the same as I did when I read Deadly Feasts, a book about prions that lie dormant in your brain for decades until they turn your gray matter to mush and spring you with full on mad cow disease. The truth is, there may be any number of no-see-ums inside you that have been there since the turn of the century, eating away at your brain without your knowledge (no pun intended). There’s not much that can be done about it. Mad cows, crazy cats — when it’s your time to lose your mind, I guess it’s your time.

But when it comes to common health issues that we can control, like moderate depression and immune dysfunction, pets beat pills in every head-on study I’ve read (there aren’t many). In fact, if you own a cat, you may be 30% less likely to have a heart attack than petless people. Seems like a decent trade-off to me.

So, does anyone need a starter kit?

  1. Krista,

    Sign me up for at least two of your ‘Crazy Cat Lady Starter Kits’. One can always use more crazy cat ladies in their lives. And cats by the box load can only improve one’s sanity.

    Oh, and a very happy everyday–birthdays included.

  2. Your order has been fulfilled. I hope you have a mask. =)

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  17. No actually if you avoid cats and there litter you won’t get prions. It’s very scary to know there is something out there that can control your mind and change your behavior. Prions lower inhibitions so the mouse they infect will not be afraid of cats and be eaten thus continuing the life cycle. They also make the mouse sexuality aroused around the smell of cat urine. Guess what it does all that to humans when you become infected usually by microscopic spores when cleaning the litter box. You also cannot cure it because humans contract the rat stage of the disease and you must die with it. So let’s avoid cats shall we they are most of the you tube videos for a reason. ..
    .

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