February 1, 2013
Suddenly, cats are no longer the cat’s pajamas. First came the dire warnings about Toxoplasma gondii, tiny cat-borne parasites that infect our brains, manipulate our personalities and, according to an Atlantic article, contribute to “car crashes, suicides, and mental disorders such as schizophrenia.” Then last month, a Slate article, “Cats Are Evil,” described New Zealand’s proposal to outlaw cats to save its wildlife. Hopping on the bandwagon, USA Today, the NYT and others then broadcast the gory details of the recent Nature Communications study: cats kill as many as 3.7 billion birds in the continental U.S. each year—as much as 15 percent of the total bird population—and as many as 20.7 billion small, adorable mammals. Meow.
The Smithsonian wrote, “cats came to be demonized in Europe during the Middle Ages. They were seen by many as being affiliated with witches and the devil, and many were killed in an effort to ward off evil… .” Could society’s cat mania ever just go away – like say a financial mania? Click here and decide if “spay and neuter” is enough.
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