Frankly Freddie – go bonkers

I’m worried.  Peggy & Judy are promoting a recreational drug.

Did you know that some cats get euphoric, others are sedated and EVEN drool when they sniff catnip?  Some veterinarians think that the moans cats make while exposed to catnip are responses to chemically induced hallucinations!

When a human has hallucinations and drools it’s a problem but when cats take recreational drugs humans think it’s cute.

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Consumer Reporter

I looked up catnip and here’s some startling information I found:

  • Smoking catnip became popular as an alternative to marijuana in the 1960s. When the herb is smoked, it produces a low level, legal high complete with audio/visual hallucinations and a relaxed feeling. Concentrated doses of Nepeta cataria brewed as a tea can also produce a mild, short-term sedative effect in humans.”
  • Leaves from Nepeta cataria or nepetalactone oil extracts are used by cat owners to provoke their pets. 
  • Catnip, in large enough quantities, will also work as an attractant for large cats like lions and tigers.
  • Europeans in the 1400s regularly drank teas made from catnip, with the herb earning a medicinal application for treatment of colic and flatulence. Nepeta cataria is a member of the mint family, with tea brewed that possesses a flavor and smell similar to mint tea
  • Made into a tea, catnip has calming properties similar to chamomile.
  • Concentrated nepetalactone also makes for a powerful mosquito repellent. However, it lasts just a few hours.

Catnip serves no real purpose other than allowing owners to watch their cats go bonkers

Catnip should be a controlled substance and this blog name should be changed to FreddieBlog

I rest my case.

 

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What hallucination reveals about our minds

In the last weeks of my father’s life he told me about a man who would come into his house at night and lay down in the bed next to him.  Frightened, he would call the authorities.  

It was the first of many hallucinations, some benign, many terrifying, he experienced before he passed.  I learned it was futile to try to convince him that what he saw hadn’t been real.  I wish I had heard this TedTalk to help me better understand what was happening.

Oliver Sacks has passed but his experiences, wisdom and compassion remains with us in his talks and books.  You might know about him from Robin Williams portrayal in the Movie Awakenings.  Take a look and listen to Dr. Sacks’ TedTalk:

“Neurologist and author Oliver Sacks brings our attention to Charles Bonnet syndrome — when visually impaired people experience lucid hallucinations. He describes the experiences of his patients in heartwarming detail and walks us through the biology of this under-reported phenomenon.”

 jw

Frankly Freddie – Why you can’t herd cats

Dear Humans,

I continue to struggle with the fact that canines have been relegated to a lessor position than felines on this blog.  In an effort to educate Peggy and Judy I submit this article which I’ve:

  • edited for precious blog space
  • emphasized (in black) the scientific proof and
  • pointed out the obvious (in blue) 

How hard can it really be to herd cats?

“Ask Daniel Mills, professor of veterinary behavioural medicine at the University of Lincoln, UK. In a recent study, Mills and his colleague Alice Potter demonstrated that cats are more autonomous and solitary than dogs. Carrying out the research for the project was as difficult as the cat’s reputation might suggest.”

“They are challenging if you want them to do certain things in a certain way,” says Mills. “They tend to do their own thing.”

“Cat owners (with the exception perhaps of Peggy) everywhere will sympathise. But why exactly are cats so reluctant to cooperate, either with each other or with a human? Or to flip the question around, why are so many other animals – wild and domestic – willing team players?”

1. It’s a well known that cats are greedy and don’t share.  That’s not nice.

” . . . domestic cats . . .  hunt small animals. “You don’t want to be around somebody else when they’ve just caught a mouse, because they’re going to eat it whole,” Packer says. “It’s gone. There is not enough food to share.” 

Proof by Peggy

2.  Cats are gate-crashers which is rude.

“All domesticated cats are descended from Middle Eastern wildcats (Felis silvestris), the “cat of the woods”. Humans did not coax those early cats out of the woods; the cats invited themselves into our grain storehouses, where an abundance of mice fed unchecked. Gate-crashing this mouse party marked the start of a truly symbiotic relationship. The cats loved the well-stocked storehouses, and the people appreciated the pest control.”

3.  Cats are stubborn at best and unsociable at worst.

“They retain a large degree of independence and approach, or stay close to us, only when they want to,” says Dennis Turner, a cat expert and animal behaviourist at the Institute for Applied Ethology and Animal Psychology in Horgen, Switzerland.”

“Cats have evolved lots of mechanisms to keep themselves apart, which aren’t exactly conducive to herding,” says Mills. Cats spray their territory to help avoid awkward meetings with each other. If they do accidentally come face to face, the hackles rise and the claws come out.”  I mark my territory to leave a friendly calling-card.

More Proof by Peggy

“In some circumstances it can appear that domestic cats have embraced group living; for instance, a colony living in a barn. But do not be fooled . . . “

“They’re very loose aggregations and they don’t have any real group identity,” he says. “They just have a common place they come to keep their kittens.”

“In keeping with their solitary, uncooperative reputation, cats turned out to be neurotic, impulsive and resistant to being ordered around.”  I didn’t say that the SCIENTISTS did.

4.  Cats are uncooperative which creates unnecessary tension in an already tense world.

“In fact, even in the face of extreme danger, which often brings animals together to form a defensive unit, it is unlikely cats would cooperate. “It’s just not something that they typically do when they’re threatened,” says Monique Udell, a biologist at Oregon State University. Cats just do not believe in strength in numbers.”

“A study published in 2014 in the Journal of Comparative Psychology saw scientists probe the personality traits of domestic cats. In keeping with their solitary, uncooperative reputation, cats turned out to be neurotic, impulsive and resistant to being ordered around.”  SCIENTISTS know.

Lions live together, unlike other cats (Credit: Images of Africa Photobank/Alamy)

Lions live together, unlike other cats (Credit: Images of Africa Photobank/Alamy)

I rest my case.  Please let Peggy and Judy know you want this blog to, at the VERY LEAST, give equal voice to cuddly canines not just to those who raise their hackles and have claws.

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CCT, RET

If you don’t believe me here’s the full article: It is Almost Impossible to Herd Cats Thanks to Evolution

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