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.