A Big Purr of Welcome

This blog used to be written by Tara, cat and author of Cats in Charge: A Guide to the Training and Education of Humans. She is also a leading character in Big Dragons Don't Cry, Book One of A Dragon's Guide to Destiny and in its sequels.

Once Tara realized that the rewards of writing a blot didn't include treats or catnip, she assigned the job to me, human and nominal writer of her books.

However, she has final approval of all posts, and she advises you to visit often. The advice you'll read here can land you in a field of catnip if you follow it.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Celebrating Catnip

Last week's post on why a catnip frenzy need not damage your self-esteem provoked some confusion among some of my readers. They wrote to ask, "What's catnip, and where's mine?"

Although I've learned that you can never underestimate human ignorance, I thought that even the most uninformed would know about catnip. I was wrong.

Deprived cats, go into action. You have an absolute right to the comfort, stimulation, relaxation, and psychedelic experiences that catnip can provide.

And a little Catnip 101 is in order, both for the inexperienced and you big-eyed felines who think you know it all. You know who I mean. You're the ones staring at a sunbeam as it makes it way around the room and leaves sparkling rainbows everywhere. Raise your paws if this describes you—unless you've forgotten what a paw is.

Why Do We Love Catnip?

Catnip contains an oil with a chemical called nepetalactone. (Relax, there will be no quiz.) It's found in leaves, stems, and seeds. Scientists say that sniffing it provides stimulation, and eating it is calming. You'd have to wonder how many cats they've observed. Most of us are sniffing, eating, and rolling in it all at once. When it comes to catnip, we're good at multitasking.

Scientists also say that catnip has no effect on some cats. I wonder if they're secretly dogs—the cats, not the scientists, although I wonder about the scientists, too. They also say that young kittens and senior cats also don’t react to catnip because its effects are connected to sexual hormones. My idea is that, since catnip makes cats act like kittens, the babies don't need it because they're already high. They certainly act that way. And maybe our senior cats prefer the quiet mellow joys of sleeping in the sun.

The catnip high lasts about 15 minutes, and a few hours have to go by before it's effective again. It's ok. You need the rest.

All Catnip Is Not Created Equal.

As long as your asking, ask for the best. You want certified organic catnip, grown under controlled conditions without pesticide involved. And let's make it pure, no fillers or additives. This also applies to catnip-filled toys, which should be marked as organic.

How Can I Get It?

If your house has a spice rack within your reach, visit it and stare longingly at items like basil and oregano. If there's any mint around, poke at it. (It may be a little too strong for you, so don't poke too hard.)

If you happen to see a catnip commercial on TV, paw at the screen—but lightly. Humans are very attached to those big flat things. Meow loudly.

If someone gives you a catnip-filled toy, tear it apart and get to the good stuff. Make sure that your human observes your state of ecstasy.

If all else fails, pray to the Great Cat Goddess that your human will become enlightened.

And don't let your humans see this video.

Catnip: Egress into Oblivion

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Crazed with Catnip


Catnip: recreational or addictive substance, was not covered in your book. I enjoy the sensations associated with chewing and rubbing on this delightful herb, but I'm concerned about how foolish this looks to my semi-trained humans. Am I losing their respect by participating in the catnip festivities?

Yours truly,
Torn between dignity and delight

Given the quantities of recreational and/or addictive drugs humans ingest, they have no business judging any cat who gets a buzz from 'nip. Add in the fact that far too many humans have no familiarity with the concept of moderation, whether in matters of food, alcohol, and other substances and activities, and you may grasp the idea that human opinions of you should matter not a whit.

However, the issue is much more complex. Deep down, humans recognize the superiority of cats. If they would simply accept this supremacy and humbly take guidance and direction from us, our lives, their lives, and the world would be a better place.

They're too accustomed, though, to the idea that they are the superior species, a false notion that leads them into destructive thinking patterns. It also causes them to look for any evidence of inferiority in other species.

The sight of a catnip-crazed cat rolling on the floor, chasing apparently invisible objects, or crashing into walls, soothes their egos. They think of us as stupid and dope-addled creatures.

Does this opinion make it more difficult to train them? It can only happen if you accept their judgment.

A human who was a cut above the average once said, "What you think of me is none of my business." Ponder these words carefully. Be concerned not with human opinions of you (which 90% of the time are ignorant and uninformed) and consider instead your opinion of yourself.

If you believe that you're the greatest cat since Bastet and walk with your head and tail high, no human can fail to realize your dignity and grandeur. Continued visions of your splendor will soon erase the memories of random catnip mania.

If you do feel a little foolish, once the catnip haze has worn off, simply turn your back on them and wash yourself vigorously. This is the best solution to any temporary dip in self-esteem.

Always remember: You are Cat. For those readers who have not yet benefited from Cats in Charge: A Guide to the Training and Education of Humans, it's available here.