From the Archives: The Semi-psychedelic Catnip Experience, 2003

gray tabby cat rolling on the floor
Moses fully involved in the catnip experience.

This is Moses, who you’ve heretofore seen only quietly curled on the floor, trying to take up as little space as possible and happy with what she had. At all other times in her life that was truly Moses, formerly feral, non-vocal, shy, humble, her hobbled hind legs always protectively curled when lying down or soundlessly padding while walking slowly through a room, behind the furniture if she could fit, right next to it if not.

Until we had a catnip party, and not just any catnip, but the fresh stuff. It’s a native wildflower in most of the US, very frequent in my area of southwestern Pennsylvania, and as a mint it’s tough as nails unless a lot of neighborhood kitties visit your yard; sadly I can’t grow it. But it sprouted all around my mother’s yard and each time I visited while she still lived at home I would bring back a fresh branch for each of the kitties who lived with me then. Moses began with the leaves, then enjoyed her twig through the rest of the day, eating another leaf or two now and then and finishing up with the semi-woody stem. During the experience she was known to roll all over the floor, actually showing her belly, even taking a wild swat at one of the other cats, none of whom ever took her seriously, stoned as they were, though she flattened her ears and squinted at them. Needless to say, I was so glad to see her enjoying herself. She was 16 in this photo.

We had a little catnip party here today to finish off our claw-trimming party, and of course in mid-winter it was the dried stuff, not fresh, but these five purr a lot and are really mellow and now they are all fast asleep. I miss those wild catnip party days. See more photos and stories about Moses.

gray tabby cat lying on floor
Moses between catnip infusions, looking more like her usual self.

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5 thoughts on “From the Archives: The Semi-psychedelic Catnip Experience, 2003

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  • February 28, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    What a beautiful girl! I have found that when I want the cats to leave me alone, giving them catnip works really. It is a rare treat at my house.

    • February 28, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      She was very beautiful, Chris, and the catnip works wonders, especially if I’m painting or framing something and really need for them to keep their paws and fur out!

    • February 23, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      If it turns a shy feral kitty into a raving rolling maniac, it’s legendary!


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