A cat is being blamed for making its owner repeatedly develop ugly abscesses on her back. She had a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, the vicious bug that humans catch from hanging out in really filthy places – like hospitals.
The woman’s husband, two children, and one of her three cats also had the superbug, and nobody showed any symptoms. But the woman’s sores didn’t clear up until doctors gave the kitty antibiotics.
Some reports said this was the first documented case of cat-to-human transmission, but I found this on WebMD:
“In 2006, the CDC’s journal Emerging Infectious Diseases reported that a San Francisco cat with skin ulcers tested positive for MRSA. The cat’s owner, who had had skin infections three months earlier, may have spread MRSA to the cat. But that’s not certain because the cat’s owner didn’t get a MRSA test.”
In both cases, doctors believed the cats caught the bug from their humans, so don’t jump to any conclusions that we’re up to something, like those rats who so thoughtfully brought you the Black Plague.
There have also been reports of MRSA being transferred between dogs and pigs and humans. They think it’s transmitted mainly through simple contact like petting, not licking, and they say this germ is so strong, it can survive in dust.
Cats already have an undeserved reputation for bumping off babies, so we’re not keen to be known as MRSA-carriers. Humans, please take our fastidious lead and wash yourself a lot.