Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 8, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

FRIDAY CATNIP BLOGGING....More action catblogging! This is Inkblot gnawing away on one of our catnip plants, which naturally has the effect of boosting his cuteness quotient about a hundred percent. Doesn't have much effect on Domino, though.

At the moment, I'm watching Inkblot right outside my window, where he's sitting on the fence and peering intently at one of our neightbor's plants. I have no idea what has him so entranced. Whatever it is, though, he seems to be enjoying himself.

Kevin Drum 2:24 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (35)

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Comments

What draws cats to catnip? Do they like the taste, and/or the buzz, or what? Is there Darwinian advantage to this behavior?

Posted by: ferd on June 8, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

They like the buzz...

Posted by: elmo on June 8, 2007 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, thanks for the cute-cat fix. I'm here at work and I won't see mine for a few hours!

Posted by: phoebes on June 8, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

I can't grow catnip outside. There are too many neighborhood cats. They come and decimate it. I tried putting an plastic gallon milk jug with the bottom and top cut out around the plant to protect it from roaming cats but I had forgotten that our dog loves plastic containers. He joyfully romped by the catnip, grabbed the milk jug and galloped around the yard with it.

I've tried growing catnip in the basement under grow lights but that failed also. About the time that the smallest cat was trying to sneak into the basement where she never previously wanted to go, I checked out the catnip's condition. Within two days the three cats had snuck into the basement and decimated that also.

When we got a small greenhouse I tried growing catnip in a hanging basket in it. The cats couldn't reach it but they took out their frustration on my huge lemongrass plant decimating it instead.

Now I buy catnip at the pet store. They much prefer the organic catnip.

Posted by: gardenperson on June 8, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Is that catnip legal? Is it really being used for medicinal purposes? Send in the feds!

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 8, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Mine don't seem to eat the catnip. They sniff it then flop down in it and roll.

I figure it is like Kitty Chanel #5, a perfuming effect that connects at pheromone level?

I know I get just as excited when I smell chocolates, and look just as stoned after the box is gone.

Posted by: Zit on June 8, 2007 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: "I have no idea what has him so entranced."

C'mon, Kevin -- as human creatures, that's really none of our business, is it?

"Whatever it is, though, he seems to be enjoying himself."

For cats, that's just the way nature intended it to be. Now, be a good human and go out to the kitchen and make sure they have enough food, and then afterward you can clean their box. And later on, if you're really cool, maybe they'll let you hang out with them this afternoon.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on June 8, 2007 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Never mind if the catnip is legal. That's just a diversion.

The pressing question is whether Inkblot and Domino are legal or illegal immicats!

It looks like Inkblot is illegal since he just works for nip.

Posted by: optical weenie on June 8, 2007 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Catnip is a scourge that is destroying our kittens' future. Just say No! We need a War on Catnip!

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 8, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

It's so cute to see so many people infected with Toxoplasmosis commenting....

Posted by: Disputo on June 8, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

"In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats." - English proverb

Speaking of kittens, here is Sheriff Lee Baca's contact page. It seems he is having trouble with one.

Posted by: Mike on June 8, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Silly Disputo;
Toxoplasmosis is contracted by cats who eat infected rat meat. While my cats have killed MANY rats, (and lizards, and birds, (including a crow), and fish (including a neighbor's koi)) - they never EAT their kills. They're too full of cat food.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 8, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

We had a superb white persian who used to sit smack dab in the middle of a giant catmint plant in our yard. The bees would buzz around him, but I think the bees and Ali had signed a non agression pact. I have some photos, and I treasure them!

Posted by: beth on June 8, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

They're too full of cat food.

Cat food made under rigorous quality controls in China?

Posted by: Disputo on June 8, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

For years I gave my cat Diablo the dried catnip and he seemed to enjoy it. t
Then I bought a live plant and fed him as much as he wanted. By 6pm he was climbing into the china cabinet. By 9pm he was throwing up. At 10pm I called the emergency vet. The voice on the other end said, "So, you gave your cat drugs and now he is acting wierd. Maybe you shouldn't do that." They advised that I watch him ALL NIGHT. If he threw up 3 more times I was to bring him in. He only threw up once more but I lost a nights sleep. He never had catnip again.

Posted by: emerald on June 8, 2007 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone know if there is a catnip equivalent for dogs?

A good friend of mine has a doberman - a very sweet old dog, let me say - with separation anxiety that is getting increasingly bad as she ages. He's dead set against giving her any artificial medication, but hasn't found an herbal equivalent so far, though he's trying. Tips and suggestions would be appreciated.

Posted by: lampwick on June 8, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

It's totally weird how catnip effects different cats in different ways. My 2 Siamese were brothers. One would completely get into it and roll around and carry on while the other would just sort of walk through it and yawn. And then shake it off his feet. It might as well have been crab grass for all he cared about it.

Posted by: Joshua Norton on June 8, 2007 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

He's staring at the plants because he is a stupid, flea-infested waste of oxygen. DOH!

Posted by: Kill It, Kill It Now on June 8, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Hey dude, have you ever looked at your paws? I mean, REALLLLY looked at them?

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on June 8, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

catnip attraction has a strong genetic component ... since Joshua's are brothers, it must be recessive. Males supposedly are more attracted too.

As for Inkblot, he's probably just stoned from the catnip.

Posted by: joyous on June 8, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
Maybe you should get Inkblot to take some catnip over to Paris Hilton so she can calm down.

Posted by: optical weenie on June 8, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

I read a story somewhere recently where someone's spaniel loved to lick toads. I think the fact animals seek pleasure other than sustenance from plants and other animals demonstrates they are sapient.

Posted by: Brojo on June 8, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Ein Reich! Ein Volk! Ein Catblog!

Also, here is a link to how to brew up your own hyper-potent catnip. It'll make fridays more interesting for all of us.

Posted by: cazart on June 8, 2007 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Inkblot looks positively kittenish in that pic.

Posted by: Michele on June 8, 2007 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Cat food made under rigorous quality controls in China?
Posted by: Disputo on June 8, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. You're just really negative today. Don't you know it's Friday?

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 8, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

I think the fact animals seek pleasure other than sustenance from plants and other animals demonstrates they are sapient.
Posted by: Brojo on June 8, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Unlike humans, who attempt to ban any such behavior.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 8, 2007 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

If you firmly drive some stakes close to the catnip plant the cat will rub on them and the plant won't be destroyed. Plus, the cats seem to love the scratching.

Posted by: kim bethards on June 8, 2007 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Cats are genetically receptive to catnip. Or, not. Some eat it in a frenzy, while others just ignore it. We moved into a new place and transplanted a catnip plant outdoors, and I was mystified as to why it looked so bad every morning. Then I spotted cats converging on the garden one dusk.

Posted by: Brian C.B. on June 8, 2007 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

That's it Kev! We are threatened by Muslim jihadis, and your cats are cute!

Sad, so many hallucinations oer'throwing a once mediocre mind!

Posted by: Mooser on June 8, 2007 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

Catnip makes Inkblot even more adorable.

Posted by: Vincent on June 8, 2007 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

Catnip is a gateway to more powerful, and more dangerous plants.

Posted by: david in norcal on June 8, 2007 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

My two girls, litter-mates, seem unaffected by catnip. It must be genetic.

Posted by: phoebes on June 8, 2007 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone know if there is a catnip equivalent for dogs?

f*ck the dogs! I want mine!

Posted by: thersites on June 8, 2007 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

Looks like Salvia coccinea (scarlet sage) on the left. A good coastal plant from South Carolina to Paraguay.

Posted by: Dave Martin on June 8, 2007 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

Homegrown's
all right with me.
Homegrown
is the way it should be.
Homegrown
is a good thing.
Plant that bell
and let it ring.

The sun comes up
in the morning,
Shines that light around.
One day, without no warning,
Things start jumping up
from the ground.

Well, homegrown's
all right with me.
Homegrown
is the way it should be.
Homegrown
is a good thing.
Plant that bell
and let it ring.

-Neil Young

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on June 9, 2007 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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