BY JUDE LASSOW
MEOW MEOW: “Hi, I am Hemingway, a six-toed black and white adorable kitten. I have been vaccinated. I was rescued along with 22 other kittens. We range in color from orange to black, grey and tuxedo, plus grey and white. Our ages are from seven weeks to five months. We are in cages and play-pens, in a basement.
“My older cousins, Popeye and Olive Oyl, are desperately seeking a human companion. Popeye has lost his eye, and his sister Olive Oyl is so sweet, and very depressed in the cage. Sadly, she runs to the front of the cage, giving everyone nose kisses, looking for love. We are hoping to be adopted into purrever homes. Please come meet us. We are vetted.
“Please call George, our foster, at 1-917-889-5896.”
HEY JUDE: “In the August 2 column, you mentioned FYI Cat Poop Parasite. Thank you for alerting us to the perils of eating raw or uncooked meats.
“Cats can be tested for toxoplasmosis. There are starving cats scavenging for food, eating old tossed scraps just to stay alive, and pooping all over the place. If they eat bad meats, infected rodents, birds or other sick prey, they can become infected with toxoplasmosis, a parasite transmitted when they defecate.
“I feed strays, scrub my hands thoroughly and wear gloves. Most indoor cats are finicky eaters; if they do not like the smell of something, they leave. I am in my second trimester, with my third child, still clean litter pans, wear gloves and scrub my hands.
“My gyn shouted that I must stop, get rid of my cats, or run the risk of getting toxoplasmosis, an infection passed on from an infected cat that has a microscopic parasite called Toxoplasma gondii.
“If I handled contaminated cat poop with my bare hands, and rubbed my face, I could be at risk. My mother cleaned litter pans during her five pregnancies. We are all fine and healthy, so are our kids.
“On the phone you asked, “Has there ever been medical or scientific evidence stating unequivocally that one pregnant woman contracted toxoplasmosis from cleaning a cat’s litter pan, and that her baby was born with disabilities due to this?“
“We could not find documented proof that this ever happened. It is the 21st Century and this old scare tactic has to stop. Thanks for letting me vent. Purrs.” — Gloria, in Bay Ridge.
Contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1-800-232-4636 TTY: (888) 232-6348; www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/gen_info/pregnant.html.