Monday, 31 January 2011

Charlie and the Teabag...

This post is for Cats on Tuesday (should be 'Cats on Drugs' in this case), and also ABC Wednesday (C for Charlie, Cat or Criminal).

Now and again I've been drinking valerian tea before I go to bed as it's supposed to help you sleep (it's not my favourite drink as it has a suspiciously aniseed-y taste.  As far as I'm concerned anything to do with either aniseed or licquorice is the work of satan).  I'd like to point out that it does nothing for your sleep if a cat then screams at you at 4a.m. or another jumps on top of you to see if you're awake at 5a.m.  We'd noticed that certain cats seemed to become drug-crazed homicidal maniacs when they sniffed it have a strange obsession with the teabags I  used so decided to carry out a scientific experiment to see what happened when they were given access to this strange beverage.

First of all, and without the aid of thick, padded gloves, we bravely held the tea bag above a cat to see if it responded.

As you can see, there is definite interest from Pepper, although
this could perhaps be explained by sheer nosiness, and the hope that
there's a cat treat about my person...

To verify the data, we tried again this time with Charlie.
There's no doubt that his eyes are fixed on the teabag.
At this point he started to become a little insane so we ran away from him
persuaded him to come outside to continue the experiment.

Even in a different environment, Charlie's
interest does not waver.  If we moved the teabag
would he follow it?

Yes!  Here my gullible assistant husband
David bravely waves the teabag closer to Charlie,
who appears mesmerised.  What would he do next?

He would decide to take matters into his own claws that's what...
David wanted to leave and bathe the scratches at this point but
I ordered persuaded him to stay for one more experiment.

Taking umbrage at not being given the teabag by default, 
the Charlie beast retreats to his lair under the garden bench.
Would the valerian work it's magic here and persuade him to come out?

A resounding yes!  Note the crazed look on his face...
David's was almost like this too.

As a reward Charlie was given the teabag wrapper
to drool over to his heart's content.  And also 
because neither of us dare get close enough to take it off him.

I have since found out that the root of the valerian plant contains a terpenoid chemical called valerinone which is very similar to catnip's nepetalactone (the active ingredient that cats respond to).  As long as you don't use pure valerian root oil then it's perfectly safe for teabag-addicted cats.  It may however cause loss of fingers and/or blood in any human stupid enough to get near said cat.

For more cats visit Cats on Tuesday
For more words beginning with C visit ABC Wednesday

35 comments:

svh2 said...

Catching up, as usual!
Charlie the Druggie, eh? He DOES look crazed, but very beautiful!
I love your 'foggy' picture! I want you to come and visit and give me lots of photography and Photoshop tutorials!
Lucky you going to see Shakespeare in Stratford. A dream for John and me! (And likely to remain just that, if those are the prices...) My mother and sister were there last year (or the year before...) and it was A Winter's Tale. I was keen to know how they did 'Exit, pursued by a bear'! Halfway through, my mother said she'd had enough, so they came out!
Penny

Au and Target said...

Hehehe, cute! Target was chasing a celery stick yesterday. He didn't like it when he chewed it though.

Thanks for purring for Au. He's eating a little then not eating. I'm still horribly worried about him.

Daisy said...

Oh yes! Our Plague Rat toy includes valerian root as well as catnip and we love it!

Em said...

Great experiment! We learn something everyday...
Now, if I could find the thing that repulse cats (prevent them from sleeping in my house plants, for instance), that would be helpful...
Em (@C'est la vie! emeire.wordpres.com)

jabblog said...

I must get some of that tea. Unlike you, I LOVE aniseed and I also want to see if Winston will be stimulated by it. Not much chance of that when he snoozes in front of the fire all day!

Bree said...

This story is freaking hilarious! Thanks for sharing.

Laloofah said...

LOL - your cross-outs are all delightfully amusing!

I had no idea that Valerian root is related to catnip. That would explain Charlie's desperate, "Come on, man, gimme a hit of that!" expression. Or could he be reacting to Dr. Stuart's mysterious added ingredient? What's the "Plus" in "Valerian Plus?" (Hey, maybe it's "Valerian Plus Aniseseed"). ;-)

I happen to LOVE the taste and smell of anise and black licorice, and have never noticed it in my Valerian tea. But then, I drink Valerian-Mint tea, so maybe the mint is masking any anise flavor. Maybe we should trade our Valerian teas. :-) Have you ever noticed how firmly, passionately entrenched the two Black Licorice camps are? One either loves it or detests it. I've never heard anyone say, "Black licorice? Meh. I can take it or leave it." Have you?

Cat Chat With Caren And Cody said...

aha!!! I was right! I was gonna say I thought that Charlie thought it was a packet of catnip!!

Loved the photos!

Barbara said...

I've just examined Dr Stuart's ingredient list on his oh-so-potent teabags, and they have lime flowers, hops, valerian root, passion flowers, fennel. So it's probably the fennel that's the aniseed culprit. I agree about the attitude to licquorice, it's a bit like marmite - which I also hate! Valerian mint tea sounds much nicer, would the teabags get customs clearance or would the sniffer cats rip open all the packages? :O)

Barbara said...

Em - try orange peel! My friend used to put it on top of the soil in the house plants to deter cats from them. They don't like citrus. Having said that there's probably a perverse cat somewhere who loves satsumas...

Barbara said...

Penny - I would love to visit you, with camera and teabags of course (and possible a cat). I'm not an expert at photo processing by any means, and I tend to use paintshop rather than photoshop, much cheaper and doesn't make my pc run as slow! We saw The Winter's Tale the other year, I think if you blinked you missed the bear. And we thought the casting a bit odd, a black caribbean chap had a white irish son and didn't seem to notice anything amiss - I know you have to suspend disbelief but still...!

Sharon Wagner said...

Hilarious post! I love how you tease us with the crossed out funny stuff. My cat Hana does not respond to catnip at all. Weird.

Nanka said...

Very entertaining and hilarious too. Liked the picture of the cat under the garden bench, a veiled innocent look :) Looks like a true connoisseur!!

Sylvia K said...

I love it! And what a great, hilarious way to start my C Day!! Charlie is such a cutie! Hope you all have a great week!

Sylvia

photowannabe said...

Too funny. Catnip tea. A strange sleep aid. (:0)

Jingle said...

creative c post, cute cat.
cheers/

Kay L. Davies said...

First, Charlie is a very handsome fellow.
Second - great post for C day!!
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

EG Wow said...

I never would have guessed that valerian could make Charlie go crazy!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I like dogs but they are pretty simple and predictable. The cats always have a little surprise.

Cezar and Léia said...

hehehe Good one dear Barbara!
I need to pay attention in what little Luna is smelling around! :)
Hugs
Léia

Mum said...

Sooooo entertaining - the cats, not your assistant!!

Marie said...

LOL -- how cute! Our kitties would probably love some Valerian tea bags to play with! I've found that William the Orange has a real thing for oregano of all things!

Marie
bonkersinbarnhart.com

Leslie: said...

What a hilarious post! Of course, I would NEVER get that close to a cat - look at those CLAWS and those TEETH!!! LOL Have a great week,

Leslie
ABCW Team

ρομπερτ said...

What a wonderful entry. Please have you all a good Wednesday.

daily athens

Tumblewords: said...

Who could have guessed? Cute shots!

Boo-Bah said...

Charlie you look so cute in your pictures. You better have a nail trim before you have another tea bag treat.

Wanda said...

Oh my goodness, that is quite a "Cat Tale"

Mama Zen said...

This is too funny!

And, what beautiful cats!

☺lani☺ said...

Great series of post! Happy Mid-week!

Cheryl said...

I love a story in pictures. Never knew valerian could be used to make your cats nuts.

Cheryl
ABC Team

Kjelle Bus said...

Cute story :)
I don´t like catnip so I guess I wouldn´t like Valerian tea either :)

Em said...

I'll try it, but I remember it never bother my older cats. Nothing seems to bother the youngest one! I have already put onions in all the pots, she still sits in them :(
Em (@C'est la vie! http://emeire.wordpress.com)

Laloofah said...

See, this is one reason I don't trust doctors. Sneaking black-licoricy fennel into otherwise innocent Valerian tea! I'd sue for malpractice if I were you. ;-)

I wish I could send you some of my Valerian mint tea, but you can't get anything past those feline customs agents these days! Charlie probably wouldn't be too enthused about it, but I'll bet you'd like it fine ~ the peppermint is perfect with it, it's really all you smell and taste. Maybe you could make your own Valerian-peppermint tea blend and put that fennel-pushing quack Dr. Stuart out of business!

Barbara said...

Love the idea of a 'fennel-pusher', LOL! He probably stands around on street corners with bunches of suspect herbs sticking out of his pockets - also probably surrounded by manic cats :O)

Laloofah said...

LOL - now that's a great image I'll carry in my head for a while! :-)

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