"If she sees a dog outside, she’ll punch the glass with her paw," said Bharat Patel, manager of K & B Inc. Candy Store at 1107 First Ave., where February is a constant presence in the window. … "There was blood everywhere — the woman’s blood. She was trying to stop the cat from fighting the dog," Patel said. "She said, ‘I’m going to call the police.’ I said ‘Call the police. There’s a sign, ‘no pets.’"
"She’s a cool cat," a customer interrupted, not looking up from his scratch-off lotto game. "She’s a famous cat.”
Nobody knows how it happened: an indoor housecat who got lost on a family excursion managing, after two months and about 200 miles, to return to her hometown.
Even scientists are baffled by how Holly, a 4-year-old tortoiseshell who in early November became separated from Jacob and Bonnie Richter at an R.V. rally in Daytona Beach, Fla., appeared on New Year’s Eve — staggering, weak and emaciated — in a backyard about a mile from the Richters’ house in West Palm Beach.
“Are you sure it’s the same cat?” wondered John Bradshaw, director of the University of Bristol’s Anthrozoology Institute. In other cases, he has suspected, “the cats are just strays, and the people have got kind of a mental justification for expecting it to be the same cat.”
But Holly not only had distinctive black-and-brown harlequin patterns on her fur, but also an implanted microchip to identify her.
Jaroslav Flegr is no kook. And yet, for years, he suspected his mind had been taken over by parasites that had invaded his brain. So the prolific biologist took his science-fiction hunch into the lab. What he’s now discovering will startle you. Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia? A biologist’s science- fiction hunch is gaining credence and shaping the emerging science of mind- controlling parasites.