Fatal Attraction

Hypnotized. Entranced by the monster that once made even your whiskers tremble. Now you find yourself twitching in its direction; it has noticed you and is ready to pounce, but you can’t scurry away, can’t suppress the strange curiosity that beckons you only forward. Forward to your destruction.

No, it’s not another one of my odd nightmares (and not the beginning to yet another Twilight novel). As I recently found out from reading the Scientific American Mind article “Fatal Attraction”, rodents infected by a protozoan of the species T. gondii lose their fear of cats, and even are attracted to the hungry monsters. The nasty bug needs its host to be eaten by a cat so that it (the parasite) can reproduce in the cat’s intestines…

OK, so you’re not a mouse… but you still may have taxoplasmosis, rather common even among humans! On the whole, it’s mostly asymptomatic, so you won’t know for sure, but some people develop schizophrenia-like symptoms, and on the whole, are more reckless. Think about it. Was it your free will that sent you on that double-diamond? Or led you to take up a mountain-climbing dare? Or were you provoked by the protozoan-ridden cysts in your brain?

Well, I’ve got a mouse-hunting cat and olfactory hallucinations. And strange dreams. Right. Ne’ermind. Off to Wonderland once more. Does it really matter if it’s real? I think I’ll just enjoy the trip.

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