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Cuddling me could kill you, so knock it off. By: A kitten

Cat-scratch fever is no joke, even if this letter from an adorable kitten is a little tongue-in-whiskers.

I'm just going to hang out in the tree until you forget I was here.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper/CNET

Dear humans (all of you really, but mainly that crazy-eyed toddler in the Dora the Explorer shirt who Will. Not. Leave. Me. Alone):

HA! See, science is on MY side! Your own Center for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that cuddling me can be hazardous to your health.

You see, cat-scratch fever isn't just a double-entendre from a Ted Nugent song. It's a serious disease that can cause fever and even death, and it's carried by me and my kin.

The CDC did a large study, and estimates that 12,000 people a year are diagnosed with cat-scratch disease, 500 of them so seriously that they have to be hospitalized. It's transmitted via scratches and bites from yours truly, but it gets to me via fleas, so keep me protected from those itchy little buggers. Why do you think I keep scratching my ears anyway?

While the disease is rare (4.5 outpatient diagnoses per 100,000 population), it's nothing to mess around with, and the CDC says it can be prevented by one of my greatest enemies -- soap and water. Ugh. But not for me, for you. The CDC advises that you avoid kissing and rough play with cats and especially kittens (DID YOU HEAR THAT MADELINE?). And if you do snuggle me, you're supposed to immediately zoom to the sink and wash your hands. No, not me! Don't wash me! I hate water like a cat hates...uh, water, I guess.

So there it is. From your own experts. Quit rocking me like a baby, squishing me into doll clothes and rubbing your drippy germy lips all over my sweet clean fur, got that? Oh, but you should also load me up on extra treats, yarn balls, catnip mice and one of those giant cat trees the neighbor's tabby has that I've been envying through the window. Hey, only if you want to stay alive, I mean.

Love, Tango the kitten

(Via The Guardian)