Bruno Chomel, a researcher at UC-Davis, believes that sleeping next to your pet can give you the bubonic plague.
According to a new study Chomel co-authored with the California Department of Public Health’s Ben Sun, other risks include “chagas disease, which can cause life-threatening heart and digestive system disorders; and cat-scratch disease, which can also come from being licked by infected cats.”
Pet owners probably face statistically greater threats of being struck by lightning (that’s roughly 1-in-500,000 people per year).
If I want to be scared, I’d be better off watching a horror movie. They usually depict far more plausible threats than catching bubonic plague from sleeping next to a dog or a cat.
So despite Chomel and Sun’s dire warning, my cats will remain welcome in my bed. Besides, they’re warm. And it’s been a cold winter.