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?