The recent post of @donkeypong was a response to two news stories. The second of these stories was the dreaded toxoplasma research. Researchers have determined that a parasite that grows in cats has infected many humans and caused them to behave differently (e.g. engage in more risky behavior, such as starting new businesses).
As usual, @donkeypong did not look far beyond the headlines. Anyone who follows science news probably saw the same headlines he did this month. @donkeypong’s analysis does not add to this in any material way. As you will no doubt conclude from reading his post, it is an insightful reading of the cat parasite and its connection with nervous birds. That is all.
If he had done further research, beyond just the recent articles about Toxoplasma effects, then he would have uncovered the truth. The truth lies in studies of Toxoplasma tests that researchers performed on mice.
These tests showed that Toxoplasma impacts mice with another, stronger effect: it makes them appreciate cats. Mice who are infected with the parasite seek out areas that smell of cats. In the case of mice, that is very bad news, since cats are natural predators that eat mice. So this altered behavior causes more mice to get eaten by cats. That is a bad evolutionary outcome for mice.
While this test was not performed on humans, let us extrapolate that same evidence. Toxoplasma gondii is a very common parasite; about 20-50% of the human population is infected with it. And there are lots of cat lovers in that subset.
That means that a large percentage of the human population may be attracted to cats!
Most religions teach balance in all things. Yin and yang. The alpha and the omega. Adam and Eve. We are the sum of our parts, and the more complementary they are, the more complete we can be.
Such is not the case with dogs and cats. Cats make men soft.
Our ancestors, whether they were cavemen or Bedouins, tamed the wolf. It became the domesticated canus lupis, the dog. Dogs are the perfect pets for red meat loving hunters. But today, as American football coach Jim Harbaugh made clear (also discussed in @donkeypong’s post), white meat has made men weak. Thou shalt not eat chicken, Harbaugh tells his athletes, “because chickens are nervous birds.” Instead, eat steak and drink whole milk.
Yet the true sickness crept into the population when Eve brought home a kitty cat from the local animal shelter. Adam told her to keep that scrawny stray out of the yurt, but the resulting catfight was more than he could handle, so he left again to tend goats with his faithful pitbulls. Innocence evaporated and humankind was doomed to repeat Eve’s descent into sin each year when Santa delivers pet kittens to seemingly innocent children. Following this great sin, humanity then entered its period of being lost in the desert.
But like any sand pit, the desert holds another feature.
Those kitty cats were breeding like rabbits and infiltrating the highest levels of Egyptian society (even getting cat statues made in their honor as kitty demi-gods). But they also were shitting all over the place in the desert. Like any good sandbox, the desert makes a perfect litterbox for kitties.
Toxoplasma is spread through contact with cat feces. And for all of those nomads sleeping out under the stars, even those who look up and see crescent and star, the parasite was spreading rapidly. Cleopatra, the original cat lady, and her kin were mummified under the pyramids, buried with their cat statues, and covered in litterbox sand that contained billions of creepy crawly parasites.
When Howard Carter and his posse broke into King Tut’s tomb in 1922, there was word of a curse. Within months, many members of his retinue had fallen ill and died. His financial partner, for example, was George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, the Fifth Earl of Carnarvon, and also known as Lord Porchester, though his bankers knew him as Mr. Almina Victoria Maria Alexandra Wombwell, since he had married the illegitimate daughter of gazzillionaire banker Alfred de Rothschild and received a vast marriage settlement that made him wealthy beyond the dreams of most men.
In January 1923, having largely financed the excavation, Lord Carnarvon was present at the opening of the inner burial chamber of King Tut’s tomb. By April 5, he was dead in Cairo and many others who helped open Tut’s tomb also succumbed to illness in the months that followed. The supposed cause of Lord Carnivore’s death was an infected mosquito bite and razor burn, but who really dies from razor burn? The story was concocted to keep people from losing their shit about the cat poop parasite that was beginning to spread through the Valley of the Nile.
Opening the tombs of the pharaohs inflicted a dangerous form of Toxoplasmosis on the human population. Those who were present when the tombs were opened suffered from its most powerful effects and many died through this “curse”. As it spread, people quickly became ill, but the human population adapted to it and became a host. Toxoplasma only reproduces in cats, so it needs cats around the humans.
Humans became hosts who liked cats more than they should have. The curse was never white meat from a chicken. The curse was infection of Toxoplasma and a resulting love of cats for a large segment of the human population.
And so, today, there is an imbalance with too many cat lovers in the world. Without Toxoplasma, they would have been few cat lovers. The dog lovers would continue to be a dominant majority, as they were in the days of Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great.
Those were men. Men who ate red meat and brought dogs along on their military campaigns. Then there was Napoleon Bonaparte, who had great promise as a leader of red meated men, but who fell into an ill-advised marriage with the fair Josephine (I say fair, but she looked like a dude who looked like a lady, one too many transitions just like Michael Jackson's nose resembled putty in his later years). Josephine, unbeknownst to most historians, was a member of that secret cat lovers society. She had a pet named Fortune who bit Napoleon’s leg on their wedding night. Though history reports that it was a yappy little pug, that is fake history.
It actually was a feline, a.k.a. cat.
On his wedding night, the best of Napoleon’s seed ended up on his maimed leg. He was never to sire a worthy heir who could conquer the known universe. Napoleon lost his mojo along with the dogs of war and he was beaten at Waterloo, though his soul had died much earlier at the fangs of a cat.
Don't you think this picture is slightly unnatural? Humans were not meant to cozy up to cats, but the parasite so forces us.
If men have gone soft, it is all because of cats and their parasites. Bring back the days when unlicensed, unneutered pitbulls roamed the street in packs and those dogs kept the local vagabonds, iceheads, and felines at bay. Once upon a time, the word ‘felony’ meant something, and it was French for ‘feline.’ Rappers used “Big” before their names and not “Lil”. Civilization needed no curfews, spycams, or gun-buybacks in the days of Attila the Hun and his Molasses brigade of fearsome canines. He almost took Rome, but in the swamp known as Venice, he was felled by a mighty nosebleed.
To wit, view once-mighty Rome today: there are an estimated 30,000 feral cats roaming the city and its underground passageways. The city was not built in a day, but cats brought down the Roman Empire by infecting its entire population with their parasite. Look at the marvelous architecture of the Coliseum today and you will see it is a shadowy shell of its former self, populated with more feral cats than gladiators, and no lions in sight.
Blame those cats for humanity’s fall from grace. You think I jest, but the following is a real picture. It's coming.
(Public domain images are used in this post except for those with source information. )