As you all know we have cats here too. 20 years ago we took a trip down the east coast and stopped at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home. Now what does that have to do with cats you ask? Well, I’ll get there… 🙂 Jefferson was a genius and one of the things he excelled in was working with plants doing crossbreeding and making plants better, bigger, more flowery or able to yield more fruit….. he was great at it. 🙂
Well, the plants he hybred so long ago you can still buy seeds of at Monticello. So, we did… lots of different plants and they were all great successes when we planted them. One of those we bought was a special catnip he developed. We planted in it our mint garden which survived for several years until MacKenzie decided one day he would water it through the fence…. which of course killed it all except the catnip. ahem…..
Now the cats loved the cat nip more than any other we ever bought or planted. It grew big and tall and the flowers were very pretty. Now we had grown catnip for years and while it is invasive we always kept it inside the mint garden. Well, ol’ Thomas Jefferson did something with the Catnip…. you see the second year it tried to take over not only the mint garden but also our yard! I never saw anything so invasive in my life. So, we had several catnip gardens after I spent a weekend thinning it out.
The next year up it came and we battled it again and so did all our neighbors… who let it grow when they saw the pretty flowers on it. Ahem…. the next year the fields around us were full of it… neighbors a half mile away had it too…. double ahem.
Then the next year when it was flowering time we saw it two miles down the road flowering along the road and in yards… by now we were keeping our mouths tightly shut for this was truly out of control!!! Year after year we would drive down the road and see it further and further from our home… 3 miles.. then 5 miles and then even 8 miles away!!! It worried me for it was growing up everywhere. I had never seen a plant so invasive in my life.
The only good thing is that catnip cycles… it will only keep coming up for so many years before it dies down. We still have an occasional catnip plant pop up and yes, it is that type of catnip. It has those pretty flowers on it…. The fields died down, the neighbors yards became free of it and I sighed with relief. Whew… it was fading away….
In fact I stopped seeing it for a few years and even forgot about the Jefferson catnip. Then, one day last year about 20 miles away I was driving down the road and there it was.. alongside of the road! As I drove by I looked to see if anyone was pointing at me and yelling “Its his fault” but it was out in the middle of nowhere so I was safe.
I wonder how far that catnip has traveled now…. but I don;t really want to know… I just know I will never plant any unknown plant in my yard again unless I know exactly what it will do. After all, what do you do with a catnip that collies can pee on and it will survive and that when cats eat it they go nuttier than pirates drunk on rum, that spreads for miles around you within several years? Also, what do you do when your neighbors come down and tell you they have the pretty catnip in their yard…. all over their yard… in huge numbers and they are not happy about it! Yeah, not pretty. So, I learned my lesson I think…..
Hmmmm…… I see Jefferson played with Dandelions also….. heheheehehe
Tigger used to race around the house with her eyes crazed until she passed out in a drunken stupor from Jefferson’s catnip! George… well he was a cranky old Tom Cat… when he got this Catnip he wanted to have a battle till the death with the biggest opponent he could find…. usually it was me! We kept this catnip out of his reach after that episode.
Cheyenne was a gentle and loving little kitty and when she got a hold of this catnip she would shadowbox until she would pass out for hours and Simba… well she would shriek and scream and screetch at everything around her…. the other kitties, the microwave, a spoon on the table…. a shoe on the floor… a fly flying by and then she would pass out.
Meanwhile, the collies would all run for the back door and bark wanting to be let out to find safety away from the crazy cats rumbling through the house. Once outside the males would be trying to kill it off but to no avail….. that stuff did not die from anything….
We still call it the revenge of Thomas Jefferson……