Catnip Tomfoolery

Slinky Malinki has impaired hearing and her overall senses are dulled, but her sense of smell is superb. How else to explain her catnip tomfoolery?

A domestic cat’s sense of smell is about fourteen times as strong as human’s. Cats have twice as many receptors in the olfactory epithelium (i.e. smell-sensitive cells in their noses) as people do, meaning that cats have a more acute sense of smell than humans. Cats also have a scent organ in the roof of their mouths called the vomeronasal (or Jacobson’s) organ. When a cat wrinkles its muzzle, lowers its chin, and lets its tongue hang a bit, it is opening the passage to the vomeronasal.- Source: Wikipedia

Working in the garden at dusk, I looked up to see Slinky crossing the patio with determination. She headed toward a small mulch-covered patch of earth. Mouse the Cat looked on with interest, but kept a respectable distance. Slinky is a cranky, aging cat, and not one to be trifled with. He (generally) knows his place.

slinky finds some catnip

Mouse the Cat keeps his distance, hiding behind the love-in-a-mist

As I watched, she bowed her head, twisted it to one side and dove in. What odd behavior.

I crawled towards her since I was down at her level anyway pulling weeds, to see what she’d discovered. Sure enough she’d found a tiny sprig of catnip (Nepeta cataria) growing near the edge of the patio.

slinky finds some catnip

Slinky enjoys a catnip moment

slinky smelling catnip

Mmmmm, this catnip smells yummy

I planted catnip several years ago and it thrived.  Last year it died off, another causality of the drought. This year, thanks to the recent rains, volunteers are sprouting everywhere.  There are many things I didn’t set out to grow, happily filling patches of bare earth. Nepeta is one of them. It’s nice to see this perennial come back, and even nicer to see Slinky enjoying it. The plant is small and partially crushed after her romp, but it looks like it will recover.

slinky guards the catnip

This is my catnip. Don’t make any false moves

I suspect that once Slinky is slumbering on her cushions nearby, Mouse will help himself to. Lindy is quite a fan as well.

I too enjoy the subtle, herbal scent when you crush the leaves. The herb is also sold as a tea. It’s easy to understand why the kitties enjoy it so much.

I guess I better get in line.

21 thoughts on “Catnip Tomfoolery

  1. I’m sure it warms your heart to know that Slinky can still smell that catnip, and enjoy it. Slinky is still there! Wonderful!
    And as I was scrolling down, I see you have lost 14#! Is that a new widget? Or am I just not very observant? Congratulations!!

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    • Thank you, Laurie. It was wonderful seeing her in action, knowing that she was getting real pleasure from that tiny little herb, right in her path. Now that the weather is warm again, she’s sleeping on her blue pillows on the back steps. She seems content.

      So, the old widget from MyFitnessPal stopped working. I had to log off, then back on, and it appears that they’ve changed them. So today I uploaded the new one and it’s larger than the former version. I’m down 14 pounds with 16 pounds to go. Almost half way there. Thank you for noticing!

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  2. Mmmmm – Nepeta!! 😀 Orlando camps out beside his supply – luckily it’s in the conservatory, so when I say ‘camps out’ it’s really cat glamping ………. He has a piece of faux grass and four pots of nepeta in various stages on top of a tall table with a good view…… Happy kitty!! I’m sure the plant keeps our kitties feeling healthier than they might feel otherwise so it is really good to see Ms Slinky getting her curative dose . I hope Mouse doesn’t take it over behind her back – he doesn’t need to be any more healthy does he 🙂 Isn’t it wonderful how everything is coming back after the rains – hope the rains keep coming in just the right amounts! xoxo

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    • Cat glamping. You are hilarious, Pauline. I can just picture this, too. This set up deserves a post all of its own.

      I was reading earlier about the benefits of cat nip, aka cat mint, aka nepeta. Herbs are extraordinary.

      The entire time I was nursing my boys (and I nursed passed a year each time) I drank a tea formulated for nursing mothers. I loved that tea. As soon as I was done nursing, I forgot about it.

      Yes, Mouse has a way of bossing everyone around. He was so interested in what she was doing, but kept her distance.

      Pauline, my garden is unbelievable, probably the prettiest it has ever been. Everything is blooming, the bees are back, and I spotted a butterfly or two last week as well. The tomatoes have doubled in size, and so have the nasturtiums.

      Thanks for your well wishes. xoxo

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      • I believe the bees and butterflies are rallying world wide which is a sign that the use of chemicals are waning I think. Isn’t that so encouraging!! I had a [yes, singular] lady bug in my garden sometime last month. The first I have seen here. I practically bowed down before her and then capered with delight 🙂

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        • Pauline, what a wonderful thing to behold. I found one on my clothes last month, perhaps around the same time you saw yours.

          Last week I heard on the radio that Ortho would be discontinuing a certain ingredient in their products because their customers were now more discerning. Get them in the pocket book…it works every time.

          I am encouraged!

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  3. What a lovely story of Slinky doing a dive for the catnip. Sounds like there is a lot of life in her yet!

    And I guess you will just have to wait your turn 😉.

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  4. What a lovely thing to see them both doing well. The head butt to catnip was fun. By the way the widget is really putting it all out there and making yourself accountable. I didn’t see that before and I wish I knew how to do it. Not the widget, the weight. Well, the widget too. 🙂 That’s a great goal booster. I loved Pauline’s comment on cat glamping. It’s wonderful that your garden is doing so well. A little rain is a good thing.

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    • Marlene, the old widget stopped working. After reloading it several times, and watching it fail to update, I realized the problem wasn’t WordPress, but MyFitnessPal. They’ve changed the widgets. I deleted the old one, uploaded the new one, and it’s bigger, brighter and working again. I hope it’s not too obnoxious.

      You and I are both on a similar weight journey I think: we do well for awhile, but then get caught up in our former ways. I hope I’m not presuming here, but that is what happens to me. The more I remain accountable, the more I hope to stick with it.

      If you ever want to add a widget, you go into WordPress admin, click on appearance and from there click on widgets. There is one simply called text.

      From their, you drag the text icon to the place that holds your other sidebar gadgets. The code or html that goes into the box is provided by the site you want to link (in this case, free from MyFitnessPal). Does that make sense?

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      • Yes, you are correct, we are very similar in our patterns. As far as the widget, it makes a little sense. I put one there with T.S.’s help to state that mine is an award free blog. I didn’t notice your widget until I saw mention of it in a comment. I am not sure if I’m ready to post weight loss because I went backwards for awhile. I’ve had an eye opening result of that so there is no playing around anymore. Now that it’s warmed up and dried out a bit, we are back to work outside. Painting the house, gate and later, porch rails. It’s been a long winter with too much good food and not enough movement. Back to work. Keep up the good work. I’m back on track. 🙂

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        • Congratulations for getting back on track. I completely understand setbacks and the frustration around the food struggle. I’m sorry to hear about your health scare. best of luck moving forward. I can’t wait to see your progress on the house and garden. Big hugs, Marlene.

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  5. Never too old to enjoy catnip! I love those photos of Slinky. We put a wire basket over our catnip plants outside, to give it a chance to grow when the cats would mow right done to nothing. With the basket, the base grows and the the leaves stick out through the basket. The cats can get to this but not the stem of the plants. Catnip rationing!

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