Many men think women who own cats are seriously flawed. While I might be seriously flawed, I honestly don’t think it’s from my cats. That’s right, I have cats. Plural. Two adorable, highly neurotic, independent, crazy-making cats. By crazy-making, I don’t mean that I am turning into the crazy cat lady who lives in a tiny one-bedroom rental apartment with twenty-seven cats and is found dead in her apartment with her cats living off her corpse. I simply mean my cats are annoying little troublemakers, highly demanding of my attention, and completely selfish. They sound a lot like the men I’ve dated.
Some researchers believe that there are tiny organisms carried by house cats that creep into our brains, causing dementia and schizophrenia. As it turns out recent studies have shown that these organisms only trigger schizophrenia in those who are genetically predisposed to the illness. The parasite they are referring to, which is excreted by cats in their feces, is called Toxoplasma Gondii (commonly referred to as Toxo). But, before you go blaming our furry little friends, know that Toxo is also present on unwashed vegetables and in unpurified drinking water. And, contrary to popular belief, Toxo actually has a positive affect on the personality of women. Infected women are more outgoing, trusting, image-conscious, and rule-abiding than uninfected women. I think most men would concur that these aren’t necessarily bad qualities.
Ironically, infected men are more introverted, suspicious, oblivious to other people’s opinions of them, and inclined to disregard rules—hmm, sounds strangely similar to my last boyfriend. I’m not sure he was exposed to cats prior to spending time with me, but he had been known to eat them (accidentally, I hope) when traveling exotic lands. Maybe he got Toxo from some mystery street cart food in a third-world country. Some data suggest that infected males might have elevated testosterone levels. Possibly for that reason, women shown photos of these men rate them as more masculine than pictures of uninfected men. Another reason for men to like cats!
Sounds to me like Toxo isn’t really that toxic.
Here’s another thought: maybe it’s not the crazy cat lady scenario that scares men away from women who own cats, maybe it’s the fear that after she’s finished doting on these little narcissistic creatures, there will be no love, attention, and affection left for him. Seems like a valid concern. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go retrieve some cat food from the fridge, microwave it for exactly 8 seconds to get it to the perfect temperature, mix it with just the right amount of water, and hand feed my cats. If I have any time and energy left after caring for my furballs, maybe I’ll blow my boyfriend. Eh, maybe not.