By C. Michael Forsyth
Warning: Your precious house cat may be a vampire that sneaks into your bedroom each night to lap your blood!
Sanguinem nobiscum, the parasite associated with vampirism in humans, can be transmitted from people to felines and vice versa, much like the better known toxoplasma gondii, experts say.
“The parasite rewires the brain, creating an irresistible hunger for blood,” says veterinary infectious-disease specialist Dr. Nora Kelwick. “Most pet owners are unaware of the change. Their cat slinks into the room of a family member – frequently a child – and feeds. The pinprick-sized holes it leaves are no more noticeable than mosquito bites, and the victim is aware of nothing besides increased grogginess in the morning, and perhaps a slight dizziness.”
Vampiric felines have been reported since the earliest accounts of human vampires and blood-drinking demons in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Cults devoted to the worship of the Cat Goddess flourished up until 3rd century Rome, with human sacrifice quite common. In the Middle Ages, cats were feared as familiars of witches, due principally to their habit of preying on sleeping peasants. The ability of vampire cats to survive seemingly fatal accidents such as falls from tremendous heights, drowning or being run over by wagons gave rise to the superstition that cats have “nine lives.”
Here, from the expert, are nine warning signs that your beloved pet has joined the ranks of the undead:
1) Sleeps or is listless during the day, but is active at night, much like a human vampire.
2) Stares at you for no apparent reason, as if trying to lull you into a hypnotic trance.
3) Normally an indoor cat, now attempts to slip out to hunt for victims.
4) Severe allergic reaction to garlic.
5) Shuns sunlight.
6) Visiting children – more sensitive to the supernatural – are apprehensive around it.
7) Won’t cross running water.
8) Recoils and flees when a crucifix is thrust in its face.
9) Begins to smoke when sprayed with holy water.
While roving packs of feral vampire cats have been known to prey on the homeless in some large cities – especially St. Louis – the main danger is of infecting humans.
“Spores from the parasite can be transmitted by the cat’s bite, creating a risk of conversion, especially among persons with weak immune systems,” cautions Dr. Kelwick. “If you suspect your cat is a vampire, consult a vet immediately.”
Copyright C. Michael Forsyth
If you found this story by fiction writer C. Michael Forsyth entertaining, you might enjoy his novels…
Read Hour of the Beast.
Check out The Blood of Titans.