Has one of the CFZ cats had enough of living at the headquarters in Woolsery? Helios 7 was spotted at the weekend sitting in one of the recycling bins - something that she was seen doing everyday after that - and one could only surmise that she was sitting there waiting for the collection to be taken away today. I am not sure where she thought she would be taken – perhaps to hunting pastures anew?
We have often thought that she may not be the sharpest pencil in the box, but this does rather take the biscuit.
As Helios 7 has started this blog today, I thought I would also add a little bit of interesting information I learned last night from my youngest daughter concerning toxoplasmosis, which is transmitted by contact with cat faeces.
There is a parasite that lives in cats’ intestines which, believe it or not, changes the behaviour of rats. This parasite is a single cell called Toxoplasma gondii and causes the above mentioned disease. You may all have heard of the threat this poses in human beings in respect of mental alterations, and the real threat it may cause in pregnant women whereby it may contaminate the foetus and cause mental illnesses, sight deficiencies and even death.
What you may not know, however, is the very interesting and somewhat fascinating fact (in a macabre feline sort of way) that when a rat is infected with this illness, the parasite takes on an inactive form in the rodent's brain causing it to basically lose its fear of cats. In some cases, rats even start to be attracted by a cat’s smell. This, of course, is not good news for the rat, which then becomes easy prey for its predator.
The cat then eats the rat and the protozoon returns to its original host and reproduces, thus completing its life cycle.
How’s that for an innovative and cunning way of catching your dinner? Infect them and lull them into a false sense of security. Isn’t nature wonderful?
Hmm, perhaps Helios 7 knew that all along, and was hoping to take her in-built rat-catcher to new hunting grounds after all. Trouble is, I think she needs to sit with the ordinary household waste rather than the newspapers and magazines. What was I was saying about sharpest pencils?