Archive for the ‘Cats’ Category

 

Women infected with the common cat parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which lurks in litter boxes, may suffer undetected brain changes that lead to personality changes and even mental illness. That’s according to a new study of more than 45,000 women in Denmark published Monday in the Archives of General Psychiatry. The parasite, excreted in cat feces, also spreads through undercooked meat and unwashed vegetables. Pregnant women have long been warned to avoid the parasite, because they can pass it onto their fetus, causing brain damage or stillbirth. In the new study, researchers found that women infected by T. gondii were one and a half times more likely to try to take their own lives than those who were not affected. They were also more likely to try to commit suicide violently—with a gun, sharp object, or by jumping, Time reports. Suicide risk increased with the levels of T. gondii antibodies found. “We can’t say with certainty that T. gondii caused the women to try to kill themselves, but we did find a predictive association between the infection and suicide attempts later in life that warrants additional studies,” study author Teodor Postolache, an associate professor of psychiatry and director of the Mood and Anxiety Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said in a press statement.

 

Pudding to the Rescue

Posted: March 7, 2012 in Cats, Health

 

Pudding the cat is big. He is orange. He is laid-back. And he’s a lifesaver.

Just ask Amy Jung. The 36-year-old Wisconsin resident credits 21-pound Pudding with saving her from the grip of diabetic seizure mere hours after she adopted him from a local animal shelter.

“If something or someone hadn’t pulled me out of that, I wouldn’t be here,” Jung told the Green Bay Press-Gazette newspaper.

Here’s what happened: On Feb. 8, Jung visited the Door County Humane Society with her son, Ethan. She had no intention of adopting a pet; she and her son just wanted to play with the cats, who are allowed to roam free at the no-kill shelter.

But, as can happen with felines and humans, Pudding and Jung felt a strong and immediate connection.

“He just gravitated to her,” Door County Humane Society Executive Director Carrie Counihan told TODAY.com.

Jung made an on-the-spot decision to bring Pudding home. Always a calm and relaxed guy, Pudding took to his new digs right away, displaying not a hint of skittishness on his first day there.

That evening Jung, who has been living with diabetes since the age of 4, went to bed at about 9:30 p.m. About 90 minutes later, she started to have a diabetic seizure. That’s when, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, “Pudding planted his weight on her chest and, when he could not wake her, began swatting her face and biting her nose.”

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Jung came to her senses enough to yell out to her son for assistance. At that point, Pudding jumped up onto Ethan’s bed and startled him into action. He immediately rushed to get his mom the help she needed.

“Her doctor said she could have gone into a coma and not come out of it if much more time had gone by,” Counihan said. “The fact that Pudding did what he did without knowing her that well is just amazing to me.”

Since the scary Feb. 8 incident, Jung has followed her doctor’s advice to have Pudding registered as a therapy animal.

“I think he’s already made his first trip to Walmart,” Counihan said.

Pudding had been living at the shelter for about a month before Jung took him home. He arrived there in early January with another cat named Wimsy after their owner died. Jung adopted Wimsy, too, because she didn’t want to separate them.

Cat protects couple from deadly gas leak

This wasn’t Pudding’s first stint at the Door County Humane Society. In 2008, a family surrendered him to the shelter because their son was allergic to cats. His name at that time was Starbuck. His last owner, the woman who just passed away, decided to change his name to Pudding.

“Pudding is 8 1/2-ish now — not too old,” Counihan said. “And Wimsy is 3 years old. Maybe he’ll pick up some of Pudding’s powers.”

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http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/46504285/ns/today-good_news/

 

Thanks to the future Dr. Goldman for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

 

 

Barking Cats

Posted: July 10, 2011 in Cats, Uncategorized