Cocktail Hour for Cats

Just like anybody would be a bit confused by such a heading. Well what I am referring to is that cats simply love catnip or as it is also known, catmint. When cats have some of this they tend to get a bit tipsy and start acting silly. You also have to be careful because just like with people there is the aggressive drunk and in the cat world the aggressive cat once they have partaken of their cocktail. What is most interesting is that the catnip plant has been around for ages. Catnip can be purchased fresh or dried and as seeds and seedlings. It can be grown indoors or out, however if you should choose to grow it in your garden make sure that your cat or cats are the only ones who have access to the catnip otherwise you just might find yourself the referee of one of the biggest cat fights in history.

Catnip from Ages Past

Catnip or Nepeta catataria is part of the mint family that is why it’s also known as catmint. This perennial plant is native to Europe, Africa and Asia but due to its popularity catnip is exported all around the globe and can be purchased most anywhere. It is thought that the Etrurian city of Neptic (known today as Nepi in the province of Viterbo) gave its name to the plant Nepeta cataria. Even  though there is no documented proof it is known that Egyptians have a great love for cats and it’s very likely that they were among the first people to give their furry friends catnip.

When it comes to the Romans then you might be surprised to learn that they used catnip in recipes and herbal medicines. It was around the 18th century when catnip was first introduced to America. Settlers arriving in the New World brought plant cuttings with them to use when cooking and making natural medicine. Back in 1712 there was a recipe from Massachusetts that included catnip in their list of ingredients.

Catnip in Herbal Medicine

Catnip is a most useful herb that can be used to treat a wide variety of different ailments and complaints. When ingested by people catnip produces different effects. Some people feel sedated while others exhibit signs of aggression. To make it easier to ingest catnip tea was brewed. Two interesting things to note here are that a story tells of a hangman who was not convinced of the ethics of his chosen profession and so that it would make it easier for him to hang criminals, he drank catnip tea before it was time for him to complete his task and the other story is that boxers from ages past would chew on the plant before a boxing match so that perhaps they would become more aggressive. Of course since one cannot tell what the effect will be when the catnip is ingested in both of these cases it would not have been good for neither the hangman nor the boxer to feel sedated.

Catnip was commonly given as a sedative to children. It was also thought that this herb cured scabies, flatulence, sleep problems and headaches. At this point the writer heaves a sigh because she is writing this at 4 AM not being able to sleep and there is no catnip in the house. Then Native Americans also used it to relieve female menstrual problems.

Today due to a wide choice of pharmaceuticals catnip has taken second place as an herbal medicine and I’m sure that many people didn’t even know that they could use it themselves. Cats now can happily continue to have their cat cocktails so give your furry darling some catnip and see what happens. He or she will be delighted and you can watch the show. It will also give you the chance to see how it really affects your cat and then you can grow it.

I live in Riga, Latvia. I was born in N.Y.C. Love to write articles and poetry. Instruct people in the English language. Live in the suburbs with my husband Martin and my wonderful cat Sid. I love rock and roll, cooking, reading, poetry and traveling.

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Purrsday Poetry: My Days In The Sun

Hi everyone,

Please find below the latest entry in Purrsday Poetry by Rasma below.

Now deep in the winter,

I sleep and dream,

dream of my days in the sun.

When out in the garden,

I could have some fun.

The days are now gray and dreary,

it’s hard to even find a small,

warm sunspot.

But I dream of when the grass,

won’t be cold beneath,

my padded, little feet.

When it will be lush and green,

then my smile will say it all,

I will once again climb,

the apple trees so tall.

It will all be fun again,

having my days in the sun.

sid-sid-001

Poem by Bernie Colley

If you would like to enter your own poems for Purrsday Poetry don’t forget to email info@katzenworld.co.uk

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Thanks,

Marc

I live in Riga, Latvia. I was born in N.Y.C. Love to write articles and poetry. Instruct people in the English language. Live in the suburbs with my husband Martin and my wonderful cat Sid. I love rock and roll, cooking, reading, poetry and traveling.

Are Your Pets Right or Left Pawed

Yes, you read that right pets are like humans right or left pawed in the case of humans right or left-handed. There were two studies done one in Turkey and one in England. In the study done in Turkey it was discovered that the majority of domestic cats are right pawed that’s 50%, 10% are ambidextrous and 40% prefer to use their left paw. Now when it comes to dogs the study in England discovered that 50% of them tend to be left pawed with a smaller number being ambidextrous.

Interestingly enough it appears that it also depends on the gender of the animal as to which paw they will tend to favor. Female cats and dogs will prefer to use their right paw while their male counterparts will prefer the left paw. Now if your pet happens to be spayed or neutered at an early age, this particular distinction goes away. You can’t just play with your pets to determine their preference because unlike with humans they will weekly express which paw they prefer so it takes some time to see a pattern.  Now here I can say that our cat Sid prefers his right paw because this is the one with which he constantly bats my hand while I’m putting his dry food into his bowl. While he is lying in the window you can see that he has stretched out his dominant right paw and it sure is a big paw.

The best way to determine about your pets is to see which paw they most often shake with, which they reach out with when playing or trying to catch something and which they reach for a treat with like my Sid with his right paw reaching for his dry food. I never though about any of this because I had no idea about it until I discovered it on the Internet and decided to share these amazing facts with you.

I live in Riga, Latvia. I was born in N.Y.C. Love to write articles and poetry. Instruct people in the English language. Live in the suburbs with my husband Martin and my wonderful cat Sid. I love rock and roll, cooking, reading, poetry and traveling.