Part of the Bay Area News Group

Cats in mourning

By Gary Bogue
Monday, October 16th, 2006 at 7:39 am in Catnip, Cats.

For the last five or so years I’ve had a large patch of catnip growing in a corner of one of the large garden boxes in my backyard. This turned out to be a perfect way of dealing with the steady stream of neighborhood cats that used to hop over the fence and make big piles of you-know-what in my garden. Since the coming of the catnip, instead of using my yard for a litter box the cats would wander over to the catnip, take BIG sniffs of the intoxicating vapors, which made them forget why they came over to my yard in the first place, and then stagger back home just in time to poop in their own backyard.

My wife and I did a little survey a couple of years ago and found the catnip had cut down "deposits" in our garden by about 75 percent or more. That definitely works for me. The catnip is also a nice looking plant for the garden.

Earlier this week we started remodeling our backyard to get rid of the lawn and build more garden boxes (anybody want to buy a lawnmower, cheap?) This involves stripping the whole yard — plants and everything — and rebuilding everything from the ground up to make the yard more wildlife friendly. Right now my backyard looks like a desert wasteland. All dirt and nothing more.

And that’s what I saw this morning when I looked out the back window. Nothing but dirt … and a little circle of five cats sitting on the dirt where the catnip plants used to grow. They were either just looking at the ground, or their heads were bowed in mourning. I couldn’t tell.

My parsimonious Abyssinian cat, Tut, jumped up on the window sill beside me. He looked out at the tiny oasis of cats in the distance and started laughing so hard he fell off the window sill. (Have you ever seen a cat laugh before? It’s not a pretty sight.)

I think I better get a new catnip patch planted ASAP before I completely disrupt the feline power structure in my neighborhood.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

5 Responses to “Cats in mourning”

  1. Mousie Zavala Says:

    You WHAT???!!?
    Cruel and unsual punishment,I say!
    I’d say that you should get a HUGE BAG of catnip and just…spread the love…
    As I write this, I am on a farm in Idaho, way past the boondocks, and totally past the sticks.
    I miss the mockingbirds (though my chickens make some pretty funny sounds themselves(no, I don’t kill them, they live on old-age pensions until they die, peacefully, in their sleep) and I seriously miss GOOD FOOD (though we did just get Fuddruckers!)…
    But we now have sheep, and chickens, and ducks…
    And people dump their cats here.
    We save them when we can, and it hurts when we can’t save everyone.
    But we have 35 acres, and people here think nothing of taking cats they have OWNED and throwing them out.
    Maybe sometime soon I will tell you about DaDa cat…who almost died, and who later became the most wondeful blubby lovey cat. It took a month or so of retraining for him to realise that I loved him enough to take care of him.
    Anyway, hello from Windy,COLD,Idaho!

  2. big john Says:

    plz let me know were i can get some catnip or find it. it seeem i have the same pproblem.

  3. Gary Says:

    Catnip plants can be purchased at Garden Supply Stores and/or plant nurseries. They generally keep catnip in the section where they have herbs. I usually plant about 4-6 plants in a corner of my garden to keep the neighborhood cats busy and out of my hair (what hair I have left!).

  4. Carol Says:

    I have a catnip story. We have two 5-year old male cats and one 7-month old female cat. We also have frequent visits by two marauding neighbor cats. Anyway, last night around midnight, we were woken by cats arguing ferociosly and pounding frantically back and forth on our roof. (We have a two-story home with a tile roof.) At one point, my husband could hear one in the gutter and the ensuing yowling made him believe that someone had fallen off the roof. Well, I got up and let the cats in this a.m. and looked outside to see that all of my catnip potted plant had been chewed to stubs. In fact, as I watched, my cat, Sonny, wandered over to the stubs to chew whatever else he could off of it.

    Appears that there was a wild neighborhood party on our roof last night!!

  5. Fleur Reynolds Says:

    How are you able to grow catnip in your garden with cats? I planted a fairly large (3 foot high) mature bush late in the afternoon and by morning only the roots were left! Every stem, leaf and above ground evidence of the plant vanished overnight. I also had one very drunk old tom cat for a day. The males seem more enamored with catnip than the female kitties.

Leave a Reply