Who has nipped Miss Tuffy-Cat’s catnip?!

1 March 2013

There has been much drama in my hosts’ garden lately.

Miss Tuffy-Cat has been stalking around the garden with ears flattened and tail a-twitching, sniffing here and there and everywhere. Even the normally cheerful Gilbert the Gnome has been looking increasingly disgruntled. It has not been a happy mood, let me tell you.

Oh no! Devastation among the catnip!
Oh no! Devastation among the catnip!

A few mornings ago, I saw Miss Tuffy-Cat gazing miserably up at one of the herb barrels on the little patio, while Gilbert the Gnome was peering down over the edge and talking earnestly to her, an uncharacteristic frown creasing his brow.

“What’s the matter?” I asked, sidling up to the pair.

“Ohh! It’s a disaster!” declared Miss Tuffy-Cat tearfully. “My ‘nip has been nipped! Who would do such a thing?!”

Detective Tuffy-Cat is hot on the trail of the culprit
Detective Tuffy-Cat is hot on the trail of the culprit

I’ve noticed that she gets brushed at least once a day with a leaf or two of catnip, which Reggie rubs against her fur, and against a soft brush, which she then uses to brush the cat. She looooves that. So I could well imagine how upsetting it must be to her to lose her regular supply of ‘nip.

I stood on my tiptoes to peer over the edge of the barrel.

“Oh my goodness!” I exclaimed, toppling backwards in fright, and landing ontop of Miss Tuffy-Cat.

“Ow!” she yelped, leaping back in surprise.

“I’m so sorry,” I mumbled, getting to my feet and holding onto the edge of the barrel for support.

Sniff-sniff, sniff-sniff
Sniff-sniff, sniff-sniff

“Quite alright,” she said, slowly flattening the fur-ridge that had arisen on her back. “I suppose it must look really terrible in there…” She looked down, so upset that even her whiskers were drooping.

I hesitated, and glanced up at Gilbert the Gnome; he shot me a warning glance and ever so slightly shook his head.

“It’s not so bad, Miss Tuffy-Cat,” I said solicitously, reaching out to pat her on the head. “There’s a couple of leaves left, and …”

Grrrrowl, she says, crossly - that thief has stolen my 'nip!
Grrrrowl, she says, crossly – that thief has stolen my ‘nip!

A couple of leaves?!” she shrieked, instantaneously becoming all bushy again, as though she had accidentally stuck her paw into an electrical socket. Her tail whipped from side to side, and she dashed hither and thither.

“Flat Kathy,” whispered Gilbert into my ear, “this is not the time to be telling the whole truth.”

“I’m going to hunt down and find that horrible thief!” declared Miss Tuffy-Cat furiously. “How dare anyone steal my ‘nip!”

I wonder where he is hiding now?
I wonder where he is hiding now?

We left her to stalk around the garden, her sensitive little nose to the ground, sniffing here and there and everywhere, her tail a-twitching and the ridge of fur on her back standing upright. Meanwhile, Gilbert and I gazed in horror at the empty stalks, nibbled leaves and exposed roots of the previously proud catnip plant.

“Do you think it will recover?” I asked.

The catnip thief is getting away with murder!
The catnip thief is getting away with murder!

Gilbert gave me a sorrowful look, and tugged miserably at his beard. “I don’t know, Flat Kathy. It’s been badly damaged several times already. When it recovered last time, I was so hopeful that it would be alright again. But almost as soon as it has recovered, a cat comes in from another garden nearby, and… well… this is what happens. I am going to ask Reggie and Richard to buy a wire cage, like a bird cage, perhaps, and to put that over the catnip.”

“And perhaps we can buy another plant from the nursery, and leave that in my garden flat overnight, so that it is kept safe?” I suggested helpfully.

“Oh yes, that would be a good idea,” nodded Gilbert sagely. “I definitely wouldn’t want Miss Tuffy-Cat to go without her ‘nip for too long.”

“No, I wouldn’t want that either,” I said, glancing at the Cat, who was still prowling crossly through the bushes, her tail all bushed up. Oh dear, oh dear.

Hardly any catnip leaves have been left intact!
Hardly any catnip leaves have been left intact!

2 thoughts on “Who has nipped Miss Tuffy-Cat’s catnip?!

    1. I so appreciate your advice, Sybil, as I don’t have much experience with cats. Unfortunately, Reggie has been too ill with a rather nasty cold to go down to the nursery to buy another catnip plant, and I haven’t had the courage to tell her that (whisper) there aren’t any leaves left on the original plant! Today’s rain has completely drenched the pot, leaving a mudbath with some broken stems.

      Miss Tuffy-Cat received her new cat food today! Reggie had brought two samples of cat food from the homeopathic vet they recently visited with Miss Tuffy-Cat, and it seems that she looooves the flavour and crunchiness of the new kibbles. I will try to keep her distracted from the catnip situation by giving her some in-between snacks of kibbles.

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