“I didn’t realize that some of them find catnip irresistible.” 😂
Nikki Byrne was a touch late in landscaping her backyard last year.
She went to the nursery, intending to fill her terra-cotta pots with herbs, but the only plant that seemed healthy was the catnip.
She planted a few pots of it with no expectations of anything happening. Then the cats appeared.
“I didn’t grow up with cats, and I think I’ve never been around cats too much, so I didn’t really realize that some of them found catnip alluring,” Byrne explained to The Dodo. “I heard a little ruckus outdoors one morning shortly after planting it.” When I peeked out the window, there saw a large elderly tabby cat perched on the fence. He’d managed to knock one of the catnip plants over while chasing it.”
Every day, the old tabby, whom Byrne dubbed Mister, returned to the terrace. She saw he lacked a collar and appeared to be in poor health, so she began putting food and water out for him.
The old tabby must’ve thought Byrne’s yard was secure, because every generation of Mister’s children began popping there to romp and play under their father’s watchful eye.
Byrne transformed her backyard into a playground for stray cats, including various toys, scratching posts, tunnels, and a heated cat home.
While the younger cats were eager to mingle with Byrne, Mister remained unconcerned.
“We’ve had to work extremely hard to prove to him that we’re not harmful, since the tiny ones will swarm all over you.” “Byrne stated. “They’re quite pleasant.”
Byrne, on the other hand, acquired Mister’s trust via time and patience. “He didn’t appear like a cat who’d ever been addressed by people before,” Byrne observed. “I let him make the decisions, and now we can approach him and he’ll eat food from my hand – I can even pet him.”
As adorable as the kittens were, Byrne realized they needed more than treats and toys, so she contacted a local community cat group in San Luis Obispo county to assist her with trap-neuter-return.
Byrne has saved generations of cats in her neighborhood in only a year, and it’s all because to a few pots of catnip.