Euphoria in the garden

Posted by Francesca

Sharkey and I witnessed some strange behavior in the garden yesterday causing me to do a little research about the plant called Nepeta cataria, or catmint and catnip. Martha likes how it looks growing along a border because it is pretty with its whorls of lavender or white flowers, which the honeybees are attracted to. Some people find that drinking catnip tea is very soothing. But, for some cats, this plant causes a very different effect, sending them into states of euphoria. After sniffing and chewing leaves, or toys made with catnip, cats may roll around, stretch, shake their heads, stare, and salivate. Some cats will even run and leap through the air. Apparently, there is an active chemical called nepetalactone, located in the plant's leaves that causes this feline rapture. Silly cats - go figure!!!

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Now he's rolling and rolling.

Comments (23)

  • F & S
    WOW - that Vivaldi had a good buzz going, that must be some good weed.

    Now how come us dogs can't get the same effect - I sure would like to see what that feels like. Ask your mom to investigate a plant that we can enjoy.

    I hope Uncle Carlos was around to check you all for ticks after that little romp in the hay. We don't like those little buggers, they can make us sick. Franny what's the latest on your Lime Disease? Do they have it under control and are you feeling better?

    Zoe

  • Hello Ladies,
    Good to see you out and about Frannie.How are you feeling? That Vivaldi is certainly a wild and crazy guy on his catnip. Glad someone was there to take him home or he probably would still be there.
    Love & licks,
    Basil

  • Wow, Vivaldi looked out of her noggin in that last photo! Good thing Wilmer was there to take her home, or she'd still be zoned out in the catnip! The photo of Vivaldi asleep in the catnip reminded me of Dorothy asleep in the field of poppies while on her way to Oz. Man, cats have all the fun!

  • Hello Girls! And Vivaldi! Vivaldi?...

    You're right! That cat is tripping! Wondering about what might grow out there for us dogs to catch a buzz on? Probably just bees...but Vivaldi offered some entertainment! What a cat!

    Franny, I'm thinking of you. I hope you like the flowers I 'scent' you...I virtually grew them myself! :)

  • Hi Francesca and Sharkey: I see that Franny is feeling much better these days. This is a "good thing." My momma still has had a rough time with this chest cold and could not write what I wanted the other few days. Oh well! I think catnip is cool. My mom told me how the grandpa cats (Littleman and Littleboy) loved the smell and got so excited they would jump and roll all over the place. Maybe my toys would like some, but they seem to jump and roll enough as it is. HAHAHAHAHA. Well, enjoy yourselves in the garden. I'm going to have a little snack and a long nap. It is soooo darned hot here today. See ya later. Love, Gracyn.

  • that is such a gorgeous cat!!

  • I'm so glad I checked the twitter page today...have been a long time pet lover...to see vivaldi act that way and in front of a camera...what a charmed kitty..

  • Did the cat have the munchies later?

  • (I warely mrrrow for my mommie, so I can't begin today with full-fwedged mrrrows wike Edgar usualwy does.)

    Hi! My name is Mandy, 'n Edgar's my bigolder bwother. I t'ought I'd be the spokeskittie fer today's bwog, since I absotivewy wuvwuvWUV kittiecat nip! Mommie gwows it to keep on hand/paw, just for us two kc's (well, fer me, actualwy). Edgar doesn't wespond too much anymore to it, but I just wuvvv it! Mommie bwings in two wittle weaves off her pwant each evening, tears them up into wittle pieces for me, and then I just crunchiemunch away on 'em, just wike dey was wittle bwades of gwass (when I get to go out [on the gwound!] in my wittle harness). When mommie's out in the backyard in the evenings, doin' her 'thing' (usualwy watering pwants 'n filwing da birdiebaths [oh boy, oh boy!]), I sit at the back door 'n put on my bootifulest face dat I can, 'n she always comes thwu. I know I can be difficult, but I do wuv my mommie, even tho' I get too mrrrowy pwoud to show it. I AMMM the queen, after all... =^..^=

  • (I warely mrrrow for my mommie, so I can't begin today with full-fwedged mrrrows wike Edgar usualwy does.)

    Hi! My name is Mandy, 'n Edgar's my bigolder bwother. I t'ought I'd be the spokeskittie fer today's bwog, since I absotivewy wuvwuvWUV kittiecat nip! Mommie gwows it to keep on hand/paw, just for us two kc's (well, fer me, actualwy). Edgar doesn't wespond too much anymore to it, but I just wuvvv it! Mommie bwings in two wittle weaves off her pwant each evening, tears them up into wittle pieces for me, and then I just crunchiemunch away on 'em, just wike dey was wittle bwades of gwass (when I get to go out [on the gwound!] in my wittle harness). When mommie's out in the backyard in the evenings, doin' her 'thing' (usualwy watering pwants 'n filwing da birdiebaths [oh boy, oh boy!]), I sit at the back door 'n put on my bootifulest face dat I can, 'n she always comes thwu. I know I can be difficult, but I do wuv my mommie, even tho' I get too mrrrowy pwoud to show it. I AMMM the queen, after all... =^..^=

  • Hello ladies, Kirby here.
    At one time, a few years ago, we had some neighbors who would get “glassy eyed” and act real strange. Mama said that they were “high,” what ever that means; the looked to be the same height as they always did. Anyway, daddy said they must have found some “good weed” or something like that. When they started selling, that’s when the law was called. Didn’t do any good; that’s another story. They moved out a couple years ago and another family moved in. Remember me telling you about the “donkey”?
    Catch you later, Kirby.

  • I just remembered reading Muriell Beadel's book, "The Cat" back in the late '60's. In her chapter on catnip, she mentioned how two U. of Chicago students (her husband was U.of C. president at the time) told her that they had tried smoking catnip, with little effect. They then discovered oil of catnip and found that they got just as looped as the cats. We're susceptible- just need a little extra.
    (For you enthusiasts, oil of catnip has not been available in pet stores for several decades. You know why...)

  • Martha that was hilarious! Good times.

  • Our daughter, her 3 teens, 10 year old, and three teen's friends AND THREE dogs left our house in MI for home in TN today and their car broke down (they were driving 2 vehicles) - so they're all back here today and I'm happy to see them, but my 2 dogs are pouting because I promised them they'd have me all to myself in the garden today!

  • Mind-boggling adorableness. Wow. I'm dying to see these pics close up but the zoom is not working properly right now. I'll come back to check it later. :D

    Thank you.

  • My three cats love catnip, although I buy it dried. All I have to do is tap the container of catnip with my fingers and all three of them come running from wherever they are snoozing at the time. They eat it and roll in it. Spooky, my small, black cat, rolls from side to side, curls up into a ball and then stretches her full length. This can go on for several minutes.

  • very cute. and lavender is a natural flea-repellant. more here: http://www.ilovedogs.com/blog/?p=1138

  • And catnip, too, is a perfect flea repellent. We now cut long stalks of it and pile it in the corner of the dining room, so that our two cats, Guido and Pagona, can roll in it as they wish. (We keep the stalks all winter, too, and they do last.) Since we started this new custom, we have had not a single flea on either cat, even though they are farm critters and are running in the fields all day.

  • Hi Sharkey and Francesca - thank you for playing with us today, Thursday, at the dog park. What a beautiful park. We love meeting new friends. We just got back from vacation in Boston Sunday and Bostonians are fun and love dogs. Max loves the "T" ride to the parks. Just a doggone friendly town. Sophie said sorry to Eliad and hope his knees are ok. Chase me and where am I hiding is one of her silly games. Barks from Redding, CT, Max "Merv" Griffon and Sophie "Sprout" Brussels Griffon Roth. P.S. hope to see you again.

  • i can't even begin to thank you for this post. i needed the great laugh!!

  • mommie delia and I are catching up on your F&S blog...computer came back and mommie left for vacation driving through 9 states...I am sooo happy they are home and I got some catnip too! Vivaldi looks like in a Gato heaven garden with all that catnip...so now to read and catch-up all the posts and adventures here.

  • dear everyone, i am so glad to have discovered the blog for martha's french bull dogs! one of my faves. and of course Martha is one of my faves also and her garden!!

    happy halloween,
    Tobin

  • You've hit the ball out the park! Icnrebidle!

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