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Personality Problems: Blame Your Cat

In an earlier story, we reported that your cat may be passing on parasites to you?parasites that affect the way your brain works. Now this story has been confirmed by a new story suggesting that a "clever cat parasite may alter human cultures on a massive scale."

ABC-TV News in Chicago reports that parasite ecologist Kevin Lafferty has published a research paper proving that the parasite Toxoplasma gondii has been transmitted indirectly from cats to half the people on earth, and it affects human personalities. He says that Toxoplasma is "frighteningly amazing."

Women who are infected have what we have come to think of as typical female personalities: warm, outgoing and attentive to others. Infected men are less intelligent and somewhat boring?the typical image of the guy sitting in front of the TV with a beer. Both infected men and women feel more guilty and insecure.

Some researchers think these parasites could be the behind all the hyperactivity that is being diagnosed in children today. Others even think that this parasite could be the cause of schizophrenia in genetically vulnerable individuals.

But Lafferty doesn't say we need to get rid of our pet cats, because a well-fed cat won't eat rats and thus won't become infected with the parasites. Despite growing up in a house filled with cats, his blood tested negative for the parasites.

When we go to war, should we blame it on our kittens? Do feminists all have dogs instead of pet cats? These and other intriguing questions come to mind when thinking about this story.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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