On that first visit with my ob/gyn she said there were no tests to run except toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease often blamed on cats that is more likely to be spread through raw meat and fecal contamination on people’s hands. Oh and from now on, she said, I’m not allowed to touch my cats.
Hold the phone. Not touch them? At all?
I have two cats in my apartment that, although they are admittedly adopted from farms in the Austrian countryside, only see the outdoors from our balcony. After testing once for infection, shouldn’t that suffice? No, she said, the only way I could be sure that I was protecting myself from infection was to not touch the cats, at all. Period.
Our cats share our lives in every way, they sit on our laps, jump on the counters and sleep in our bed. I consider it a victory if I manage to leave the apartment fur-free. Getting Oliver to take on cleaning the cat box for 9 months was a distinct possibility, but a no-contact policy with the cats for all that time just wasn’t feasible. But my doctor was adamant. If I didn’t find a way, I was consciously placing myself at risk (the horrible effects of which she then rattled off in detail).
I scoured the internet looking for a more reasonable take on things and after an ill-advised foray into pregnancy message boards (oh the horror and unhelpfulness), asked a non-expert whose practical advice I’ve come to enjoy and admire.
If you’ve landed here trying to find advice about pregnancy and cats, or are curious, click here to read the Straight Poop About Toxoplasmosis.