Toxoplasmosis or Super PAC? How to Tell Them Apart

Fruit is good for you, but not after you drop it in your cat's litter box. (Image courtesy of the CDC

Have you found yourself acting contrary to your own self-interest lately? Do you ever get the feeling that some external force is exerting undue influence on your behavior? Well, you may be right. Scientists have theorized that infection by Toxoplasma Gondii, a parasite found in raw meat and cat feces (yum!) might affect human behavior. And it’s an election year in the US, so if you live here, you’re probably being bombarded by political advertisements created by Super PACs, a particularly hardy strain of political action committee. This simple comparison chart will help you figure out which one you’re dealing with:

T. Gondii Super PAC
A type of protozoa discovered independently in 1908 by scientists in Tunis and Brazil. A type of political action committee created in 2010 by the US Supreme court.
Forms unhealthy relationships with cats. Forms unhealthy relationships with political candidates.
Cats are unaware of the presence of T. Gondii and have little or no control over the parasite’s behavior. Candidates are aware of the presence of Super PACs and communicate with them via the media; however, they’re not allowed to “coordinate” with them.
Also infects humans, influencing them to behave in ways that benefit cats and, ultimately, T. Gondii. Influences humans to behave in ways that benefit  specific candidates and, ultimately, the Super PAC.
Also infects mice, causing them to behave in ways that make them easy prey for cats. Has no known effect on mice.
Millions of T. Gondii protozoa create cysts within the human body.* Millions of Super PAC dollars create commercials transmitted to television sets within the human home.
T. Gondii protozoa are difficult to see. Super PAC donors are often difficult to identify.
Makes you love cats. Makes you hate people.

It’s important to remember that most cats are not infected with T. Gondii and that infected cats are innocent victims. Also, cats are adorable. Don’t you just love cats?

*I actually have no idea how many T. Gondii it takes to cause an infection.