Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Catnip delight

My two cats, Christopher and Eleia - black and dilute tortoise-shell or calico respectively - enjoyed a fine time the other day with some  catnip that I had pulled from the garden... high time I got cleaning up weeds and grass and these two had a ball while I toiled.

They chewed, they rolled in it, they attacked it, then each other and then the dogs and then curled up, each in his or her own chair and fell asleep.

I find it fascinating that catnip has this effect on cats. To me, when it's fresh and disturbed, it smells like skunk. Whenever Christopher finds some in the garden he delights in bruising it and of course I panic and go looking for the skunk-off, sure the dogs will be sprayed by the black and white passerby.

In a catnip doze
You can imagine my chagrin when I walk by the spot in the garden and realize that the odour is only catnip and Christopher has been at it again. Eleia doesn't seem to seek it out, but I think Christopher has every patch in every one of my seven or eight gardens staked out.

The following is from Wikepedia about catnip, catmint or catwort as it can be called:

Nepeta cataria is mostly used as a recreational substance for feline enjoyment. Roughly two out of every three cats will be affected by the plant,[citation needed] whether it is growing in the wild or harvested and dried. Approximately two hours after an exposure, the feline will be sensitive to another dose.[citation needed] The common behaviors that are observed are: rubbing on the plant, rolling on the ground, drooling, or consuming much of the plant. The plant terpenoid nepetalactone is the main chemical constituent of the essential oil of Nepeta cataria and acts as a feline attractant. This chemical enters the feline's nose, and produces semi-hallucinogenic effects on the cat.[2]
Catnip has a history of human medicinal use for its soothing properties. It has also been known to have a slightly numbing effect. The plant has been consumed as a tea, juice, tincture, infusion or poultice, and has also been smoked.[3] When the active oils in the plant are isolated and refined, they supposedly work as a mosquito repellent.


  1. Loved the blog about your kitty cats. Your just had to include your dogs though lol. I think they are truly amazing creatures and you capture all the nuances in a freely flowing easy to read blog. Congratulations on setting this up. Keep it coming!!

  2. mother of pussy cats - love what you're doing with the animals and pictures and what you see and feel all around you and your house.
    My Murphy and Maisie have been
    signing autographs now and feel
    very important.
    All this have gone to their furry heads!

  3. Thank you both for your kind words... this is so much fun - I'm so glad people are enjoying it... Barbara