New studies come out of universities every day. Although there are rules and regulations on how to conduct these studies, (double blind, etc.) sometimes I wonder just how accurate some of them are. In quantum physics, for example, it has been know for some time that the mere observance of a phenomenon may alter the outcome of it. I think that you can come up with any solution that you want if you study something long enough and from a certain angle. Evidence for this might be in the fact that there are so many new studies that contradict the findings of the old ones. Then you have factors such as personal bias and corporate bias. How about the studies back in the 50’s and 60’s sponsored by the tobacco companies showing that cigarettes were safe? Or even today investigations of new drugs made by those who will profit by them the most, the pharmaceutical companies. But then there are the ones that come along every once in awhile that are just fun to consider and make you smile. Like the one made recently at the University of Minnesota.
According to a story in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, (www.stltoday.com) a recent study there showed that people who have cats are 30-40 percent less likely to die of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke than those who don’t. It’s long been known that pets can relieve stress, at least when you pet them. When you have your new leather shoes chewed to pieces, or have to clean up after them, or worry about them when they get sick or when they tear up the furniture, I’m not so sure. Maybe it’s just like when you get married. A lot of people think that the stress of being married is far worse than being single, but married people live longer. Maybe it’s just because they have more commitments.
The Minnesota study shows that the decreased risk is just for cat people, not those who have dogs as pets. You would think that dog owners would get more cardiovascular workouts by walking them on a daily basis. How many people do you know who walk their cat? Maybe it’s the cat’s calm tranquil nature, or his lackadaisical attitude towards life in general. He doesn’t seem to sweat the small stuff like we do. Maybe we could all learn a lesson from them. Or maybe, just maybe, being around a cat just rubs off.
But I think that the real reason is that not too many type A personalities buy cats in the first place. They buy Dobermans and Rottweilers instead. The same cardiac benefits from cats would probably be found with those pet lovers who keep goldfish as a pet. How can you be stressed out sitting in front of a fish tank watching the fish swim round and round?