NIP HEADS

by Janet Blue on August 17, 2012

Yesterday, Chris, our house cleaner and local catnip pusher, brought the kitties a large zip-loc bag of dried catnip. She also brought six fresh cut stems each about three feet tall with lots of seeds for me to plant in my garden.

Steamer rolls in catnip sprinkled on cat scratcher.

Daphne passes out after overindulging in catnip.

Tom immediately put the bag away. We learned our lesson years ago with regard to leaving catnip unattended.  A friend had given the kitties a small bag of dried catnip for Christmas. On the afternoon of Christmas Day we went to a movie. Having forgotten to

Skooter is all revved up after an afternoon of eating catnip.

hide the catnip, it was on a small end table when we left. When we returned, what was left of it was scattered all over the cats and living room rug. Daphne was in a stupor atop a new Cat Claws scratching pad. The effects eventually wore off as did those demonstrated by Skooter and Steamer.

Not wanting to spread the seeds throughout the house, we left the branches on the front porch. Mauricio and Misty May, with noses twitching, quickly zeroed in on the prize. By the time they finished, most of the seeds were on the porch and the kids were ready for naps.

That evening before dinner we were sitting on the front porch when Lily Olivia came home. She quickly discovered the seeds covering the porch and started rolling and snorting. She soon mellowed-out (not a small feat for our bi-polar calico) and came to sit with me on the dual rocker.

As we were enjoying some time together, the neighbor’s marmalade, mackerel tabby snuck onto the porch. Sparky spends quite a bit of time here often coming when he hears the call for breakfast or dinner. He knows that if one of our bunch refuses a meal, he sometimes scores the rejected food.

To my surprise Lily didn’t budge from my side or even hiss. She watched contently as he too rolled in the seeds. Catnip can elicit drunk and disorderly conduct, but to my relief none was displayed by either cat. When Sparky had enough he meandered home. When he stood up I noticed the puddles of drool he left behind.

Madison was our biggest Nip Head. I make small catnip pillows for Barn Cat Buddies to sell in order to raise money for their organization. Whenever I work on the project I am fighting off cats the entire time. Madison would pester me unceasingly. He would dance around my feet, jump into my lap and put his paws on the sewing machine. I could only keep him at bay by continually sprinkling catnip on the floor until I finally would have to give him one of the newly-sewn toys.

Lily Olivia isn’t going to let a long reach keep her from the Christmas catnip.

Lily is the current catnip frenzy champion and unbeknownst to me she was in the house the last time I began this project. When I sew these little pillows closed, I don’t cut the thread between the toys but let them accumulate in a long string until I am finished sewing.  When Lily discovered me at the sewing machine, I already had a fairly long string. She was on the sewing table batting these around before I could respond to her presence. She tangled up the threads and persisted in trying to pull toys off. No matter what I tried I could not get rid of her. She finally was able to bite through the threads and take off with a pillow in her mouth and several trailing behind. When I caught up to her I was able to cut one of the toys loose so she could have it. She batted it around once or twice, lost interest and left. Of course, she did. She loves catnip but she loves making me crazy even more.

Mauricio (Me) and Lisbeth (Mini-Me) inspect the Christmas catnip.

This wasn’t the first time Chris brought catnip to the hoard. She also gave them a welcome gift of freshly-cut catnip at Christmas. You can see their response in the photos. Not too long ago, I read that kittens usually are not attracted to catnip. I guess Lisbeth and Astrid, only four-months old at that time, hadn’t had the opportunity to read that article.

If I had remembered one of our DOs from 1993, I would have anticipated their interest and consequent behavior. DO buy every cat “how to” book on the market and read them from cover to cover so that you can precisely predict how your cat won’t act in any given situation. (And, by the way, these selections are located in the fiction section.)

P. S. Fiona, who has just been on the deck obviously rolling around in some seeds, is now sprawled on the kitchen rug acting wonky and chewing on her toes!

P.P.S. I just found out that Mauricio Lima, Brazilian indoor volleyball player and our Mauricio’s namesake, is being inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame. Our Mauricio will have to clean up his act if he ever expects to be inducted into the Feline Hall of Fame!

Meredith August 21, 2012 at 10:14 am

These are the cutest photos! I can’t believe how Lily Olivia is stretched out and balancing so well at the edge of the counter. I cracked up at “the local catnip pusher” – Chris is so great.

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