Now that I’ve posted images of cats onto my site, I need only to wait for my inevitable fame.
People. Love. Cats.
I mean, sure, there are certain individuals out there that abhor cats, but in general, the statement is absolutely true. Just look at the abundance of kitten videos on YouTube or the pervasiveness of cat-memes on the Internet. My husband experienced some of this cat-fueled fame with a cat illustration that he did for Tor.com: despite all of his other insanely beautiful work, the cat illustration is the one most frequently requested for prints.
If you’re not buying my anecdotal evidence, allow me to convince you with SCIENCE. Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, is frequently found in cat feces and has been proven to affect the behavior of rats in order to complete its reproductive cycle. The toxoplasma bug makes rats love cats instead of being afraid of them. Since the infected rats like to hang out where cats live, they are more likely to be eaten. Inside the cat’s body, the bug matures, lays eggs, the eggs get pooped by the cat, and the cycle starts all over again.
But that’s the rat’s problem, right?
Actually, toxoplasmosis has been shown to affect the behavior of many species, including humans. In fact, one study suggests that the rate of toxoplasmosis infection in a human population can have an effect on the population’s culture. Crazy right?
So the next time you change the kitty-litter, or goof around in a playground sand box for that matter, it’s likely that you’re getting a healthy dose of Toxoplasma gondii. Once the bug gets into your brain, they won’t let go, and you’ll be a crazy cat-worshipper like the rest of us.