The internet is full of killer cat memes, we've all seen it in their eyes and a Google search will give you over 3 million answers to: "how to tell if your cat is trying to kill you."
We all know that over-snuggling often ends in our own bloodshed (darn those scratchy claws!), but it's almost impossible not to snuggle the fluff out of them, so we take our chances. Then, they slink off to plot world domination.
In the 10th Issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, released this month for October 2016, the CDC advises that Cat-Scratch Disease (CSD) is on the rise in the United States and is slightly higher among girls and women.
No surprise there.
According to the study, each year, about 12,000 people in the US are diagnosed with CSD. More shocking is that 500 people are hospitalized each year because of it.
Although the number of diagnoses had decreased during 2011-2013; the study found that "the proportion of patients with CSD who were hospitalized increased from 3.5% in 2005–2007 to 4.2% in 2011–2013."
Your cat really does want you dead.
Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache, poor appetite, swollen lymph nodes and exhaustion. Without medical treatment, it can cause brain swelling, heart complications and death.
We contract the disease when a cat licks our open wounds, bites or scratches their hoomans enough to make us bleed.
Most of the reported cases happened in January. According to the study, this is likely because of the peak in the Christmastime adoption of shelter cats, for sentimental reasons or as gifts.
Don't worry, we have counter-measures : the CDC suggests that you have good flea control, keep your cats indoors and wash your hands after every cuddle session.
If you do want to go crazy with your kitten, do what my brother does: put on an oven mitt. It's not scientifically proven, but it will protect you from those tiny razors we call claws.