There are many possibilities for the origin of a zombie outbreak (mad cow disease in humans, biological warfare, partial reanimation, nervous disorders, Pokemon) but there is a good chance that the real issue will be a virus spread by house cats.
There is a parasitic mind-altering protozoan called toxoplasma gondii that lives and breeds in house cat intestines that can infect almost every mammal in the world, including humans. In prey animals such as rats, it causes the loss of the animal’s innate fear of cats and cat smell, allowing it to amble right over to a cat and get eaten. Convenient, right?
In humans it’s effects can be much worse: according to CDC it’s known to lead to flu symptoms, blurred vision, eye tearing, persistent headache, fever, nausea, coordination problems, and even seizures, as well as obsessive love of cats, no matter how evil the cat really is. It can also prevent a fetus from developing properly, leading to death.
This is where it gets a little concerning in terms of human zombification. The parasite chiefly targets the brain, in some cases destroying it completely, but in others just altering it in shocking ways. It’s really not that far from creating mindless human servants for cats.
In fact, ancient Egyptians are a perfect example of a society under the rule of cats. They held cats in higher esteem than humans–the punishment of killing a cat even accidentally was worse than for killing a human. They even worshipped a half cat half human god called Bastet. Cats themselves were often considered demi-gods. Armies were dispatched regularly to liberate kidnapped felines, and they surrendered battles if they saw a cat so it wouldn’t be harmed. After a cat died, it was mummified and buried, and the entire family would go into a deep mourning. That’s an entire society that failed to hold its own against kitties.““
And the scary part is that 50% of the world’s population–3.75 billion people–has this disease. Because it can infect any mammal and most birds, eating partially cooked meat from infected animals can give you the disease, meaning you can have the disease even if you have never touched a cat in your life.
Think twice, cat people. Do you really love your cat, or are you under its influence, slowly losing your mind?