What is Catnip? - A Whisker City Tail - Cat Crack Catnip

What is Catnip? - A Whisker City Tail

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By Anonymous P Cat.

Whisker City is just like any city you or I may know…. 

There are rich cats and poor cats. There are good times and bad times. There are fleas, brand new ways of killing fleas, marches in opposition to those brand new ways of killing fleas, TV dramas about fleas, and still, after all that, fleas. And all these things get talked about – on street corners, in grooming parlors, on bar stools, and Cat Radio phone-ins; they're the focus of kitty chat, year in, year out, just as they are in every other city in the whole of Whisker Land.

But recently, the talk of the town in Whisker City has been dominated by a different issue. An issue so divisive they call it: 'the start of a thousand catfights.' An issue that has torn families apart and found itself at the very center of a local debate now garnering national cattention. And in case you've been living under a rock – or smoking some – I herewith give you my final set of clues: you can lick it, sniff it, play with it, roll in it, bathe in it, and even spend all day in it 'feline groovy,' and depending on your point of view, it will either make your day or make you crazy. I'm talking, of course, about catnip.

So what is catnip? What does catnip do to cats? Can cats eat catnip? Why is it in the news? And why do I care? Well, this is a story about just that – why I care. And to tell you, I don't even need to reveal my name. I just need to tell you that I'm a cat – just like you – and that all cats should care about cat nip. 

The Catnip Conundrum: What Does Catnip Do to Cats and Why It's in the News

Catnip is in the news because in Whisker City, just like it's always been across the whole land, catnip is illegal. According to conventional kitty wisdom - based on the traditional values regarded as the bedrock of Whiskerlandism, values dating back to our European forefathers, and their belief in the Church of Mew – catnip has been regarded as some kind of malevolent force. Despite the fact that the catnip plant is as natural as any herb that may find its way into your cat food, its mysterious, euphoric effects have seen it labeled as nothing more than a pox on civilized pussycat society and the work of some kind of dopey, doggy devil.

In recent years, though, Whisker Land has been forced to look itself hard in the furry face and ask if those values – and our interpretation of them – really still ring true. Pussycat pollsters revealed last year that a staggering 91% of cats had used catnip, of whom 63% said they writhed around it regularly, 78% said it was more fun than making love to a beautiful stranger (cat), and 100% said it was more fun than working, going to church or being married. Advocates for legalization argue that the aforenoted 'Whisker Land values' are only part of a broader tapestry of traditions, including the kind of Enlightenment thinking that emphasizes reason, science, and cat progress. In other words, conventional cat thinking on this subject is a crock, a scam, and completely out of date. 

The Purrfessor's Perspective

My (made-up) name is Anonymous P Cat, and I'm a Purrfessor of Catnip Studies at a top, brainy, Ivy League Mew-niversity – I'm not going to say which one - and I want to use my story to explain why the Mayor of Whisker City's vote today will only go one way, and why - you'll perhaps be surprised to hear – I believe that to be a disaster for Whisker City.

I'm what you might call a self-made moggy, er - cat for those of you across the pond in the good ole USA. Despite being a painfully smug liberal intellectual, I came from humble beginnings – I started out as a non-dom, living in the projects of a typical town, just like Whisker City – and from a young age, I was introduced to the delights of cat nip. It was just what you did. And let me tell you, the catnip back then on the streets was good. It was, as the kids today say, lit, real, slay, dope, bussin', the bomb, the bizzle, the shizzle. Ahem…

You see, I believe in science, and catnip is a science – a science where the higher the potency, the better the hit. So here's what you need to know, the active ingredient in cat nip is called nepetalactone. The catnip back then was produced by proper farm cats and hit potency levels of 78%+ - that's 78%+ nepetalactone. And let's not forget too that 'back in the day' everything was organic. There were no pesticides and insecticides in our cat nip. So the catnip we was – sorry, were – rolling in was also 100% natural. 78%+ nepetalactone and 100% natural. And we all got into it through free hits – because cat nip didn't exist to make people money. It was always regarded by those who used it as a crucial social emollient, a community bond, a chance to express yourself and show love. Dealers were criminalized, but they weren't criminals – they were good people, defying a law that did not make sense. 

So why, then, do I – an expert and all-round smarty cat – oppose legalization?

For many years I have been studying the feline ecosystem that is Whisker City, because the gulf there between rich and poor, is perhaps starker than anywhere else across the nation. And the terribly interesting thing I discovered whenever I went there, was that the catnip for sale – and consumed illegally but widely across the city, including inside the Uptown mansions of the wealthiest, most informed and most educated kitty-kats in the city – has consistently tested again and again as 78% nepetalactone and 100% natural. 

His High-ness Bumpy's Take on Catnip

In Whisker City, they worship a different god than most cats across Whisker Land. He's not a deity like Moghammed, or a celebrity like Kim Catdashian, or a politician like Barack Oba-meow. He goes, instead, by the name of Bumpy, aka 'His Highness'. And my story, is that I met him. Just the other week. And he made me understand why, in Whisker City, the legalization of catnip may one day be a good thing….but that until then, it will certainly not:

"What is catnip? A member of the Mint family? What does catnip do to cats? It relaxes them, makes them less anxious, feel euphoric, helps them play, helps them get the best out of life. Can cats eat catnip? Yes! Why is it in the news? Because they want to legalize it. And why do I care? I care because you should only use the best, freshly grown, highest quality catnip – and when they legalize catnip, they'll get rid of me and that highest quality catnip, and until someone younger comes along to fight the good fight, you'll be drowning in the rest. And the rest will be bad. Always read the label! It will be low potency, non-organic, and full of annoying little sticks. So grab a free hit – me and my crew of kids, Kingpin, Fuzzy and Shorty are available 24/7, and will come to you through Delivermew…and Flapdash and Miaowchownow…and then you can purr, roll, meow and play, and don't forget to vote NO today."

And I believe that cool cat. The Legend that is Bumpy. He sells catnip at the best prices, to keep all cats happy. It's non-addictive, 100% natural: the herb that makes life worth living for cats. And he showed me the future – because when catnip becomes about money, not about being the best, it's game over. I saw a prophecy. Legalize catnip, and you may lose your chance for a free hit of the highest potency catnip – 79% nepetalactone, 100% natural - until a new hero rears their fluffy head in Whisker City. I don't know who that leader will be – do you? So I don't want cheap catnip imitations for myself, for my family, for my kids? Do you?

Editor's note: Days later, the Mayor did win his vote, and catnip was legalized in Whisker City. Bumpy disappeared shortly afterward, and as he'd predicted, a range of poor quality catnips flooded the market – until recently, with testers reporting that a new, independently produced product called Cat Crack has appeared, boasting 78% nepetalactone, 100% natural ingredients. Behind it, is an ambitious and dashing young cat, once a trusted young lieutenant to the legendary Bumpy – a cat known by the name of Kingpin…

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