There is an unusual phenomenon regarding cats and mice and its all due to a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii.
“It uses a remarkable trick to spread from rodents to cats: It alters the brains of infected rats and mice so that they become attracted to—rather than repelled by—the scent of their predators. A new study reveals that rodents infected with the parasitic protozoa are drawn to the smell of cat urine, apparently having lost their otherwise natural aversion to the scent.”
“There are a million examples of parasites manipulating host behavior,” said Robert Sapolsky, a Stanford University neuroscientist who collaborated with Vyas.”
In other words:
Mouse infected by Toxoplasma gondii
Mouse likes cat
Cat eats mouse
Parasite breeds in the gut of Cat
A new mouse eats the poop and likes cat
And the cycle continues.
Humans too can be affected by this parasite but whether behavioral effects occur are controversial in the science community.
Tomcats and mice are metaphors for the toxic relationships and situations in which we may place ourselves.
When we act like the infected mouse, we are walking into and staying in, toxic relationships.
According to LiveStrong, and author Dr. Cindy Solliday-McRoy
These are 36 signs you are in a toxic relationship:
“1. Your partner constantly puts you down verbally, in private or in front of others.
2. Your partner makes you feel ugly and stupid.
3. Your partner tells you s/he loves you but her/his behavior suggests otherwise.
5. Your partner is jealous of the time you spend with your kids.
6. Your partner constantly accuses you of being unfaithful to her/him.
7. Your partner shows up often at your work unexpectedly just to check-up on you.
8. Your partner opens and reads your mail before giving it to you.
9. Your partner calls you or text messages you often to see what you are doing.
10. Your partner hides from you what s/he is up to and gets angry when you “pry” into her/his business.
11. You feel depressed, anxious or “crazy” over your relationship.
12. You cry more often that you laugh or smile over your relationship.
13. Your partner says you would have the perfect relationship if only you would change.
14. Your partner wants you to be dependent on her/him.
15. Your partner does things for you and then uses them to make you feel obligated.
17. You feel like you’re on a never-ending E-motional roller coaster ride.
18. When it’s good, it’s really good, but what it’s bad it’s a nightmare.
19. You can’t wait for the “honeymoon” period, after the fight.
20. Your thoughts, opinions, accomplishments, wants and needs are devalued.
21. You don’t know who you are anymore without her/him.
22. You feel like you couldn’t survive without her/her
23. You feel like your whole word revolves around her/him.
24. Your friends/family don’t like your partner or don’t think s/he is good for you.
25. You have changed things about your-Self to suit your partner, even when it’s not your taste.
26. You always go where your partner wants to, like movies, restaurants, etc.
27. You have no idea what your likes, dislikes, wants, needs or preferences are anymore.
28. You feel afraid or unsafe with your partner.
30. You feel like you have to walk on egg shells whenever you’re with your partner.
31. You don’t feel you have control of your life anymore.
32. Your self-esteem is lower since you’ve been with your partner.
33. You stay in the relationship because you think no one else would want you.
34. You think it’s up to you to make the relationship work.
35. You keep secrets about your relationship from others who love you because they wouldn’t understand.
36. You can’t remember the last time you felt truly happy for more than a few days, perhaps hours, at a time.”
Pay attention to the above signs.
Set limits and healthy boundaries
Talk with friends and family
Get support and stop presenting yourself to the hungry Tomcat.
Tomcat…you’re not going to eat this one!