Catnip Addiction On The Rise Among Inner City Kittens
ALL LOCAL NEWS:
To the low income estates of South and East London, where reports of a new and
powerful drug terrorising youthful elements of the population have been supported by a recent Home Defence
investigation. We discovered this plague is even more widespread than first feared, and while elders born in the
1990s purr in bewilderment and dismay, this new generation runs wild. Cats no more than two months old are
now a regular sight around the city, roaming porches and back yards, off their faces on the highly intoxicating
substance known as ‘catnip’.
“We’ve understood for a while there’s a thriving black market in this substance, but what shocked me was how widespread use has become in the poorer sections of society.” Mr. Pickles, a Brazilian shorthair and spokescat for the pet community commented on
learning of HDUK’s findings. “According to your research, over 70% of cats staying in council homes will have
experimented with catnip by the time they come of age, with one in five showing signs of dependency. This is
nothing less than a blight on a whole generation of moggies. One theory is that the growing addiction comes in
response to a new set of modern pressures. Nowadays the average city cat’s life is more stressful than ever,
what with a territorial population, heavy traffic, feral children attempting to grab our tails, and the ever-increasing
expectations of our owners.
“Thanks to televised home video clips and photos on internet sites such as Stuff On My Cat.com or Cats
That Look Like Hitler, a high percentage of felines now find themselves in the public eye.” Pickles continued,
pausing only to adjust his spectacles with a paw. “This can lead to jealousy and attacks from more dominant
rivals, as well as the ever-present threat of being chased by an illegal pit bull. With the pace of cat life as it is,
little wonder so many of us turn to chemical sustenance just to get through the day, often with the full
knowledge of our owners. Some even act as our ‘dealers’, providing limitless supplies of catnip in a misplaced
display of love. However, most humans have a limited budget, and are soon unable to pay for inoculations or
rehab when so-called ‘catnip kittens’ are born addicted to this narcotic. We’re seeing more and more cats
abandoned to their fate, forced to be affectionate toward complete strangers in return for loose change, money
they then spend on this drug rather than a nice can of Whiskas. Something has to be done.”
Catnip or ‘Nepeta Cataria’ is a stimulant widely available in UK pet shops and used recreationally by an
estimated one million cats every year with little ill effect. The aromatic herb is a member of the mint family
which grows naturally in North American deserts, as well as illegally in some English litter trays (with the
right kind of light and plenty of warmth). The physiological reactions induced in felines by catnip are both
psychosexual and aphrodisiac and symptoms include incessant loud meowing, rolling around with paws
extended gazing at the ceiling, hallucinations, and repeated falling over. For decades the effects of catnip
were thought to be harmless, but following a recent report in the Daily Mail (where it was alleged that
kittens as young as a week are being dosed with the substance by some left-wing households, quickly
becoming aggressive and out of control), many pet owners are rethinking their approach.
“Took me weeks to wean my Chintzy off that muck, she’s a manx you know.” Googie Geffen (79), a resident of
Camberwell, South London, told HDUK. “I had to lock her up in the end, otherwise she’d have started doing favours
for Toms just to get her hit. The withdrawal symptoms were horrendous; all that crying, rattling the bars, and
pleading with me, but she’s clean now. The desire to lick herself has come back, and Chintzy’s no longer
dependent on catnip to get her through the day. But I know some cats round here who aren’t so lucky. It’s
terrible how young they start and what they’ll do for The Nip. Enid down the bingo says there’s a rumour going
round that a powerful strain of Catnip was introduced to the area by a group of Dachshunds in league with MI5,
and that they did it to destroy the growing popularity of cats among humans. If that turns out to be true I’ll be
writing to my MP. When I were a girl you could leave your door unlocked and cats would come and go as they
pleased, no need for all this. Can I get you another cup of tea dear?”
Yet a glimmer of hope exists in the form of the Paddington branch of the PDSA (People’s Dispensary for
Sick Animals) which announced this week that it would begin to operate a detox clinic for catnip-addicted
felines from May 2007. However, a nurse stressed that owners would not be able to enrol pets against their
will. Kittens will be forced to fully renounce their addiction before the treatment can begin, and to that end
the charity has drawn up a ‘Twelve-Step Programme’ for all cats, from Persians to Japanese Bobtails,
before they can be accepted. The clinic’s ‘Twelve Steps of Catnippers Anonymous’ are as follows:
The Twelve Steps
1. Us cats admit we are powerless over the legendary herb known as 'catnip' - that our addiction has become unmanageable, and that it’s making us a bit bonkers.
2. We will come to believe in a Power greater than ourselves which can restore us to sanity - the Egyptian feline Goddess known as 'The Sphynx'.
3. We will make a decision to turn our will and lives over to the care of The Sphynx so that she can sort us out good and proper.
4. We will make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, describing that time we hung around the alley looking for strays, or the morning we deliberately missed the litter tray to spite our owners when they took all the catnip away.
5. We admit to The Sphynx Goddess, to ourselves, and to another suffering moggy, the exact nature of our wrongs. Like turning away from humans who didn't have any catnip for us, then destroying their furniture.
6. We are ready to have The Sphynx Goddess remove all defects of character. In return we must never again swap our owner's belongings for a leopard-skin catnip cushion.
7. We humbly ask The Sphynx to remove our shortcomings. She is a forgiving Goddess, and will absolve any cat as long as they're remorseful and quite cute.
8. We will make a list of all the persons we’ve harmed (including next door's Siamese and the small child who stole our catnip hamster), and be willing to make amends to them all.
9. We will make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. This can be achieved by purring adorably and rubbing against their legs. Note: A half-dead sparrow carried in from the garden is not appropriate compensation.
10. We will continue to take a personal inventory and, when wrong, promptly admit it. No more coming home for the food, getting off our faces on catnip, then hanging around the wrong side of the tracks looking to get frisky with other pussies.
11. We seek through prayer, meditation, group hugs, holding paws and chanted purrs, to improve our conscious contact with The Sphynx as we understand Her, praying only for knowledge of Her will for us and the power to carry it out.
12. We will report a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, and carry our message to other catnippers, practicing these principles in all affairs. There are many non-addictive and safe alternatives to The Holy Spice, such as Wrigley's Doublemint or chocolate mice. That said, one 'hit' a day could be acceptable, as long as the individual can handle it. All cats are different after all. I don't have a problem, I just enjoy The Nip recreationally. Come on… me next. Don't bogart it all puss - there's plenty to go round. Oh God, I feel like a kitten again. Yeehah!