Cats to Humans: Keep H1N1 to Yourselves

By Yul

Enough with this Bourdain guy. We’ve got a serious issue to discuss. A cat caught H1N1 from his owners.

The family in Iowa wishes to remain anonymous, so the cat is unnamed, but he’s a 16-pound orange tabby who’s described as “large-framed but not chubby.” He’s an only pet and never goes outside.

After three of his four humans had flu-like symptoms, the normally friendly cat stopped eating, drinking, and grooming, threw up, and assumed the meatloaf position.

Clearly, he was feeling BAD.

When the American Veterinary Medical Association reported this illness, they ended with, “To date, there is no evidence that the cat passed the virus to any people.”


The vet who treated the cat said the only way he could have caught H1N1 was from his peeps bringing the virus to him.

Why do people always try to lay the blame on the animals?

Two pet ferrets in Oregon and Nebraska also caught H1N1, and they both died. Animal expert Steve Dale says ferrets are apparently susceptible to human flu in general.

Don’t get me wrong. Cats love humans, but we must draw a line at sharing your diseases.

  • If you’re sick, don’t cough or sneeze on us.
  • Wash your hands before petting us. If you leave germs on our fur, someone else pick them up, catches the flu, and we take the rap.
  • Wash our bowls daily in hot, soapy water, and keep your paws off our food. Use utensils. You’ve got thumbs.
  • Keep our fresh water coming, and don’t drink or wash your hands in it.

I’m happy to report that the Iowa cat didn’t become a statistic. He recovered with fluids and antibiotics and is back in his window watching squirrels.


17 Responses to Cats to Humans: Keep H1N1 to Yourselves

  1. Adele says:

    Yul, as you can imagine, when Alice heard this story, yesterday, her thoughts went immediately to you, since you’ve had the sniffles. She wondered if Karen might have passed them along to you somehow. She’s asked for a hazmat suit, just in case I come down with the flu, and wonders if I could get gowns, gloves and masks for any humans, who come to dinner. She points out the humans are dumb enough to leave their houses, making them targets for germs — I had to remind her that if I don’t leave the house occasionally, she would have no food and kitty litter.

  2. catsworking says:

    Adele, this H1N1 situation is a real Catch-22 for kitties, now that we know we can catch it. We have to send you humans outside to do our bidding, but while you’re out there, we have no control over what you may get into and drag home. I’d like to see cat-sized hazmat suits that we could don while you are gone, only to be removed once you have showered and been doused in Purell.

    During my recent illness, I was the only one who was sick and nobody else caught it, amazingly enough. I was coughing and sneezing all over the place without benefit of a sleeve, and I was hardly in any shape to be licking snot off my arm. Karen hasn’t had a cold in ages, so I don’t think she gave it to me. I’m just prone to getting these head colds now and then. The vet says it’s a virus I’ll never shake.

  3. Joanaroo says:

    Hi Yul! As a cat lover I have been keeping a loving and watchful ear and eye on our cats. My sister and I love our cats and as neither of us have contracted H1N1 we will be very protective of our kids if we do. I and my sister are awaiting the vaccine here in the US and my sister even is employed by Glaxo Smith Kline-a vaccine maker-and she can’t even get the vaccine! American health care! Ya gotta hate it!

  4. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Joanaroo! You won’t find any fans of American healthcare here at Cats Working. Don’t even get Karen started. She was snarling yesterday because the Congressman pushing the single-payer option caved and let it be killed in favor of Nancy Pelosi’s monstrosity, which must be the answered prayer of the health insurance industry — 2,000 pages of loopholes to help them keep profits high and make people worse off than ever. And they say Obama helped to get single payer trashed as well.

    So Obama shouldn’t wonder why Republicans won every major seat in Virginia in this week’s election. The stupid people trusted that slick talker once, only to watch him throw their tax money at bankers (so they could levy new fees and raise credit card interest rates), and car makers (to save HUMMER and kill Saturn?), and let insurers crap all over healthcare reform. The voters who supported Obama largely stayed home here, and the stupid voters who showed up reverted to electing backward-thinking types like themselves to run the state government.

    By “stupid people,” I’m talking about the ones who attend anti-healthcare reform demonstrations with their misspelled signs, screaming they don’t want change — too dumb to realize they don’t own the “wonderful” insurance they’ve got now. Their employer foots most of the bill and absorbs the hassling. If they had to pay 100% themselves and deal with dishonest, unethical, greedy insurers one-on-one, they’d be screaming FOR change.

  5. Bob says:

    Hey Joanaroo

    We up here in Canada get all worried about Ya’ll down there when it comes to health care..

    We have a Universal Health Care system up here, and yes we pay for it and it really seems to keep the “Providers” at bay.

    Maybe because we look at things a bit differently.
    If someone wanted to charge for services here above the norm, I think that there would be a line of people with stakes and Crosses to hunt him down..

    No our system is not perfect, but it is a People before Profit government model.

    I really hope that everyone south of the Great White North can get it together real soon.


  6. Zappa says:

    Adele Yul Cole

    Is this true? Cats can get H1N1 from Humans? Is this more of that “no,you can’t have mommy’s lobster because it is bad for you” fiction ? As if getting our tails stepped on isn’t bad enough! The indignity!


  7. catsworking says:

    Zappa, I’m sorry to say that it’s true. Humans have become a disease-carrying menace to cats. They better never try to throw cat-scratch fever or toxoplasmosis in our faces again. It’s payback time.

  8. Joanaroo says:

    Hi Yul, Bob and Karen! I agree 100% Bob! The insurance companies here only care about profits. My dad and then me have been pushing for a single-payer, national health care system here for decades and would love our system to be modelled after Canada’s! Here you can’t speak directly to congresspeople when you call and I leave voice mails-when I can if the box isn’t full and say either change the system or to hell with it-my goal is move to Canada!

  9. Joanaroo says:

    And Yul and Karen-I was upset that Obama turned chicken on the single-payer system-just like he has turned chicken on everything else since the inauguration. I voted for him because he wanted to insure everyone, strengthen LGBT rights for our gay friends, and reverse a lot of stuff that Dubya did. And it seems every day he reverses himself. I wanted him to at least push for a public option to help the poor but he’s even against that. GRRR!!! But he’s turning out to be as stubbornly Republican as Joe Lieberman!

  10. catsworking says:

    Joanaroo, it gets even worse on the local level. Last week Virginia elected a Republican governor, and he just said that Virginia would opt out of any public option because he doesn’t believe in it. No, he’d rather let his constituents continue to be ritually raped by Anthem, an insurer which seems to enjoy a monopoly here in the individual market. I wonder how much of Karen’s premiums Anthem funneled into McDonnell’s campaign, while she was skipping her mammogram this year because it’s not covered?

    Karen almost kicked in the TV screen this morning when she saw Joe Lieberman saying he could never “in good conscience” vote for any health bill that has a public option. OK, Joe, let’s yank YOUR government-run insurance and see what a private insurer would charge YOU, at your age, and what they’d refuse to cover as pre-existing.

    Just like they did with the credit card companies, giving them plenty of time to jack up prices sky-high before they get frozen, Congress is doing the same thing for health insurers. Why wait until 2013? If they can raise rates and change the rules in the blink of an eye, they could do it all in reverse just as fast. Just like the banks did.

    Obama, sitting on the sidelines of every issue, is shaping up to be the biggest disappointment ever.

  11. Joanaroo says:

    Hi Yul and Karen! Geezus! VA sounds like NJ. Jersey’s toxic waste finally seeped into the brains(?) of voters there and what they voted Rethug Chris Christie in for as Guv for is beyond me. It was said he would make mammograms something the women would have to pay for themselves and he claims no, they wouldn’t. We’ll see! I think he’s full of bull! Or as my grandmother (a BIG cat lover) would say, and don’t take this personally, Yul, “He’s ornerier than cat shit!”.

  12. Joanaroo says:

    And Yul and Karen-it’s an outrage that women have to pay for mammograms! I’d be kicking my TV in too! I got a list of Repubs on Medicare who are against the public option and am going to leave them some nice voice mails and maybe send these idiots snail mail at least to get my anger off my chest. Every time I hear an idiot Rethug and stupid Conservative Dem make a asinine remark against health care reform-I take notes and get websites and get phone numbers!

  13. Joanaroo says:

    Hi all! Love my Samsung Sway but it only allows short comments even though it beats a bulky computer! The whole health care reform issue shows the dumbing of America! You have Ma and Pa Rethug with as we say-misspelled signs being unpaid lobbyists and pawns of the insurance companies and the Rethugs and Conservative Dems bought by the insurance companies and all don’t give a damn about their citizens! Virginia Foxx (R) who compared single payer to terrorism-even though she has Medicare IS a TERRORIST when Americans DIE due to NO HEALTH COVERAGE!

  14. catsworking says:

    Joanaroo, you sound as passionate about this issue as Karen is. She has written to both senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb about healthcare reform, but it was preaching to the choir because they’re both sensible Dems and will do the right thing. Her congressman, unfortunately, is Eric Cantor, the head cheerleader for the status quo and his mug is on the news daily bad-mouthing reform.

    The over-65 set protesting reform makes no sense whatsoever, since they already enjoy a government-run option. As for the rest of them, let’s see them all get laid off and have to pay COBRA prices, or try to get cheaper individual coverage (rotsa ruck!). The arrogance and complacency of these people is galling. They think they’ll have their jobs forever and their benevolent employer guarantees continued cushy healthcare benefits. It’s like they never read a newspaper. What do they think this is? Japan?

    And this morning we just learned that Pelosi’s 2,000 page bill DOES NOT allow interstate competition (so Anthem gets to keep its monopoly in Virginia, we guess), and DOES NOT allow portability. There’s also no tort reform for malpractice suits.

    So where are all the so-called “improvements” coming from? The hypocrisy makes us want to smack Pelosi’s stupid, grinning face with all claws extended.

  15. Joanaroo says:

    Hi Yul and Karen! Yup, Yul, we humans are a strange lot, but if everyone were as smart as Karen and I, the USA would be running ship shape! Pelosi on the other hand needs a good smack. This bipartisan crap is ridiculous! The Repubs don’t care about anything but insurance company money coming to them. Hey, Bushie got his 2 wars and the money spent on them would’ve insured alot of people and saved alot of lives: so screw ’em and bring on Single Payer!

  16. Joanaroo says:

    I found a good website called The Middle which lets you see how any Sen. or Rep. voted on everything they voted on. Then Rep. Alan Grayson has a site Names Of The Dead where people who knew people who died due to no coverage can tell their stories. So far in 2009 there are over 38,000 who have died. And Rep. Anthony Weiner of NY has named all Repubs on Medicare who are also against reform and the public option. May the Rethugs catch Hell and be haunted by the Dead.

  17. catsworking says:

    Joanaroo, you are definitely on the right side of the healthcare debate. Oops! I mean the CORRECT side.

    Yesterday, Karen and MorganLF took a tour of the Capitol and walked right by Pelosi’s office door. She wasn’t there. They gave themselves most of the week off for Veterans’ Day (they take 4 days when the rest of the country is lucky to get one). She said it was hard not to feel like she was covered in cooties after such a close brush.

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