It must have been a stroke of genius when my grandson named her Frisky. I have to admit, the current problem is at least partly my fault, so I can’t in good conscious say too much. Nevertheless, a normal cat would not behave this way. Frisky, of course, is not a normal cat.
It all started when I was watching that program “My Cat from Hell” on television. The animal behaviorist said that cats want something green to nibble on and suggested providing them with a planter of cat grass. My mistake was when I decided to plant catnip instead of grass. All cats like catnip, don’t they?
I should have known. I once planted some catnip in my herb garden. Cats from miles around came to visit. It became such a nuisance after a while that I pulled it up, but being from the mint family, it is hard to get rid of, like a weed. It took years to eradicate it completely.
This time, however, I would plant it in a pot so it could be contained. In only a few days the seed sprouted and the plants quickly grew to be several inches tall. Either the plants didn’t like the container or it was the unseasonably hot weather, but the plants wilted and could not be revived.
My daughter was disappointed. She stripped the dry leaves from the dead plants into a plastic baggie as “Cats like dried catnip,” she assured me.
Frisky was especially naughty the next morning, knocking a jigsaw puzzle that the grandkids had been working on for days off the table and onto the floor. We thought it was only Frisky being frisky.
However, it was a bit more. Frisky was nipping on the catnip. She had jumped to the kitchen counter, where she is not normally allowed, chewed the plastic bag open and apparently sniffed weed until she was high.
I found out too late that catnip is actually pretty potent. Some people call it cat marijuana. I had no idea that cats can go crazy over it.
Felines are affected by the smell of the catnip which has oil in it similar to eucalyptus. When the leaves are crushed, even more of the scent is released. Cats usually react by rolling around and becoming playful. It is supposedly not harmful.
Frisky scattered catnip all over the kitchen. She knocked the cat food off the counter and turned over a large container of kitchen utensils. She staggered to the kitchen sink where she knocked a soap bottle and other items into the sink. Then she wobbled over and smacked a package of donuts to the floor.
I suppose in her imbibed state she thought she could fly, as she leapt to the top of the kitchen cabinets and rearranged all the decorative baskets there. When my daughter investigated the commotion, she found Frisky on top of the refrigerator, denying everything.
We are harboring a feline drug addict. As I said in the beginning, I am an enabler for planting catnip in the first place. I had no idea it would cause all this.
In case you are wondering, catnip only affects cats. It does not have the same effect on people. I looked it up to be sure before writing this column. It will only make you sleepy. So, if you are heading to the garden shop to buy catnip seeds, forget it.
I caught Frisky on the kitchen counter again this morning, undoubtedly looking for her fix. I do not need a cat that is a pot-head. She is busted.
If you happen to hear of a 12-step program for cats, please let me know. She is going on the wagon.