Toot of the Ages

Catnip. The toot of the ages. Drug of choice for all cats, little and great. Putting a few spoonfuls in a box transforms it into a playground that can occupy a cat for hours. Just no compromising photos, Please.

Want to see a cat croon, the kitty equivalent of a Gregorian chant on uppers? Nip in a box will do it.

Curious about where the swash came from in Swashbuckle? Leave a large paper bag with a bit of nip for an hour. You’ll see.

Are you interested in hearing the plaintive yowls of a cat having withdrawal symptoms? Take the nip away in mid-toot.

Cat nip, if it got humans high, it’d displace alcohol and most other recreational drugs. Think about a tooted teenager, high on nip, crashing the family car.

Imagine the three spoonful luncheon for the executive, who goes back to the office purring but incapable of work.

Worst of all, imagine the drunken nip parties of the celebrities, unable to stop at just one toke, falling asleep with their feet curled in the air. Snoring.

Be grateful that human science has not been able to transfer the “nip effect” to humans.

Cats have evolved an ability to tolerate large doses of the stuff. But, unfortunately, humans have not developed enough yet, perhaps in another hundred thousand years.


Xenia: I used to get accused of being brash. Well, I’ve malingered in that territory, but the terms that get used are more likely perverse instead of being called cheeky. The nerve!

Dad: Come on! As you got older, you found new outlets for some of your, shall we say, less kindly, takes on things. The way you discuss specific topics became trenchant; when asked if you prefer meringue topping or whipped cream, you look astonished and quoth ‘ Ice Cream please” in such a way that leaves no room for further opportunity to discuss it.

Xenia: My tastes have matured, and my perceptions tuned to a fine point. It’s apparent that I have the superior intellect!

Dad: Come on, Xenia! Let us know how you really feel about things!

Dream time

Since my hip operation, my sleep routine has been shattered and episodic. But it has also been filled with dreams. Last night I had an iteration of a familiar dream. I had time traveled in the dream and found myself back in grad school, shudder. I had to come up with a topic for my dissertation quickly. In the dream, I explore and profile alternate topics based on ideas I have already rejected. As the dream proceeds, I somehow transit from grad school to my workshop, and I am at my bench with carving tools, ready to start carving. The difference is that I am now trying to choose the next ship I will carve.

This one woke me up. Grad school dreams usually do. But, this dream ended with a furry presence, Xenia, my cat, attempting to wake me up. She was standing on my chest insisting that my choices were strictly circumscribed. Either get up and feed her, or there’d be a wet cat tongue in my ear.

Being that the much-feared and detested wet willy was worse than a graduate school dissertation committee or standing in the shop wondering what to do, I got up to the sound of satisfied purring.

Like, Wow!

He thought he was done collecting herbs for the day. I said, “where in the hell in my nip!” He said, tomorrow. I suggested a wet willy in the ear at 3 AM might be just the ticket. He went right back to the garden.

Like, Wow! This is good stuff. Lots of sun, dry. It’s vintage year…let’s see Chateau Xenia 2022. I like the sound of that.

Damn, I’m so hungry. After food I’ll nap. Wow!


It’s intolerable. I attempt to edit his work, and he undoes my added spaces, asterisks, periods, and commas. I am almost bleary-eyed looking at the monitor. I could be passive, like other cats, but I have a reputation to maintain. I want to win the prize as best feline editor.

But of course, being that he frustrates my best efforts, he’ll never become an award-winning author who gets up to accept a significant prize and thanks his cat for all the support. I suppose I’ll just go back to sleeping on the keyboard.


A Trip to the Vets

Mother took father to the vet today. When he came home, we walked with a big thingee and limped. The dog and I actually had a conference about it. Sometimes he isn’t as stupid as he looks. Max said that he stunk of shots. He hoped that they hadn’t “fixed” him. I heard Mother say something about his sleeping downstairs.

The gall! How am I going to nurse him back to health with licks, kisses, and fur therapy? Loud purrs are clinically proven to be a valuable tool in promoting healing.

The dog and I worry that Mother took him to a vet for humans rather than our doctor; Dr. Balderelli is the best. I hope that where he went is OK.

But they must be foolish. They forgot to put the Collar of Shame on him: incompetence, just plain stupid incompetence.

What if he attempts to bite his stitches?

The Harvest has come

It’s pure, all natural, and he tells me it’s only catnip. Safe for my enjoyment, he says. I insist on proof of origin. Which part of the garden was it harvested in? The shade of the woods or the bright sun of the vegetable garden. The sun grown is more robust, with earthy tones of vibrant growth. The shade grown is more subtle. It calls out to other taste buds – slightly fruity, with a slight aftertaste of oak and maple from the rich woodland border on which it is grown.

At Chateau Xenia, we harvest no catnip before it’s time…it’s so hard being an epitome of the refined taste.


The dark silhouette of a woman gestured for me to come forward and whispered to me, ” are you ambidextrous?” Somehow the way she asked it didn’t suggest an idle inquiry into my handedness – it was too breathy, too much possessed of innuendo to be taken at face value. I reached forward to embrace her. and wound up in a tangle of my bedding. Just another sad reminder that there was no woman in my life. Much less a temptress in the shadows asking the mundane but accepting only the sublime.
I let go of my hurt loudly, “I gotta get a life!!!”

It had been so real. But maybe it had been the macaroni and cheese with chili sauce I had had at the local greasy spoon last night. It had been tough like it had the tenacity to crawl off the plate to whack me. I guess the waitress could have been the beauty in the dark. Indigestion will do things like that to you.

Looking at the clock, I found that it was only four in the morning. The rain outside was loud enough to sound like it was beating the ground up. I could sleep another two hours.
As I lay down, I deliberately attempted to return to where my dream had let off. There she was, standing in the shadows of the doorway. Her hair is all smooth perfection…her lips…wait a minute…what lips? What’s that smell? Cat food? “Hey! Get off my chest!” Yuck, cat food mouth at six AM!

“You’ll get your breakfast after I get rid of this cat food taste, you damn idiot!” Way to kill a wonderful dream…get a cat…have companionship! Right.


Not to be flippant, trample on the rights of others, or be rude, but the comfort of my tender body is a priority. So mother, seeing the distress in my languid eyes, rushed out to procure the most recent technology for cats suffering from a July heat wave. Well done, oh good and faithful servant.

The person who invented the individual air conditioner for cats was a genius. Nobel Prize Committee, take note. Amen.

Nip Season

Everything is growing well. Soon there will be flowers – cat hashish- and I’ll roll about in feline paradise. Father has refused to get rid of the weeds he calls food and allow the nip to grow wild. The ninny pulls young plants as weeds!

I guess he doesn’t realize that nip is the most perfect drug, I mean digestive aid, in the universe. It was a God-given gift. Yes, in her feline perfection, she gave the nip to all cats, great and small.

Humans have no taste. But this is not a bad thing. I’d hate to have to share with him. Vintage nip is too good to waste on two-legged nincompoops.

Let’s see. Who’s on my Catmass list for the holiday distribution to cousins?

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