This certainly would explain a lot:
Humans Get Personality Altering Infections From Cats
Professor Jaroslav Flegr of Charles University in Prague has discovered evidence that infection by intracellular protozoan parasite toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) causes changes in human personalities.
He found the women infected with toxoplasma spent more money on clothes and were consistently rated as more attractive. “We found they were more easy-going, more warm-hearted, had more friends and cared more about how they looked,” he said. “However, they were also less trustworthy and had more relationships with men.’
By contrast, the infected men appeared to suffer from the “alley cat” effect: becoming less well groomed undesirable loners who were more willing to fight. They were more likely to be suspicious and jealous. “They tended to dislike following rules,” Flegr said.
Ah, the power of science….
The quote “I am at two with nature,” by the way, comes from Woody Allen.
[Update, 10/19/2003: Enoch Choi points out that “it’s a serious illness for the immunocompromized, and that we screen for this in all pregnant women and tell them not to clean up after their cats.”
Louis Menand, in Paris to the Moon, also reports that pregnant women in France are warned away from raw vegetables, because they can also contain the parasite.