I am a new mother, I am brand new to pethood. Well, there was always Victor the canary who had come in a box for my birthday and hopped from perch to perch until he hopped no more. And the fishes I found flapping on the sand one morning after the fish tank seal had burst during the night…But I had never had REAL pets, with major needs and attitude. So when Louis brought home a box one afternoon and I looked inside to find two kittens asleep, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. And I had no idea how much I would love them.
I had heard of catnip. But I didn’t really know what to think of it. My initial thought was that until I researched how it affected them, there would be no catnip. I did some reading online and didn’t really like what I found: “the nepetalactone contained in nepeta binds to the olfactory receptors of cats, typically resulting in temporary euphoria.” “Consuming much of the plant is followed by drooling, sleepiness, anxiety, leaping about and purring. Some will growl, meow, scratch, or bite the hand holding it. Often eating too much can cause cats to be overly aggressive, typically making them hiss.” No catnip. My kids will not do drugs.
I wasn’t even sure that my cats would be sensitive to it, about a third of cats are not. Then one day, I went to a plant swap and brought home some species of the genus Nepeta. I didn’t think it was true catnip, but this is what happened:
Obi destroyed it. I mean total annihilation. She rolled and chewed, and rolled some more until there was nothing left of that poor thing. Ok then, not quite immune to it….
Then, last thanksgiving week-end, in the bargain room at Ikea, I fell in love. It was sitting there, all white, leathery and beautiful, it was perfect. A quick inspection revealed that it had a small tear in the fabric covering the springs, under the cushions. That’s it! A tiny flaw that made it perfect for my tight budget. True love. Would it fit in the Suby? I sat on the couch and guarded it while Louis went to measure. Some guy was already eying it. “Nice couch,” he said all nonchalant, “yeah keep walking buddy, it’s mine.” Seriously.
And then a thought crossed my mind: what about the cats? My heart sank. I had cats. Cats with claws. Sharp ones. The last couch, an awful 50s orange plaid given to us by the neighbors, had died, clawed to death, and the trail of foam bits and loose threads at the crime scene was still fresh in my mind. What about a scratch post? no, that hadn’t worked before, they had ignored it from the day I had brought it home. Then what? I couldn’t leave this couch here, it belonged with me. What about…..what about a scratch post …..laced with catnip? I couldn’t…. could I?
Well, necessity is the mother of all….compromise? So my cats get high sometimes. At least I have an awesome couch. Louis keeps saying that catnip is a gateway drug. If they start shooting up, I’ll just blame it on the Swedes.