Catnip…for people

Dear loyal readers,

As promised in my first official post, I continue to design the site. Shout out to my daughter for the header design. The bipolar bear is my spirit animal. Every aspect of that design serves a symbolic purpose. The English teacher in me wants to analyze it for you, but then I wouldn’t be a very good teacher. I look forward to reading your analysis if you’re into that kind of thing and accept the challenge.

In honor of my second promise (a blog about a dog and two cats), it’s official: I’m growing catnip.

catnip pict

I have come to realize that I am allergic to work that produces stress. I break out with obsessive thoughts, panic attacks, paranoia, and an overwhelming sense of dread. Stress and bipolar disorder go as well together as vinegar and baking soda, Mentos and Coke, or fireworks and fingers.  Recently, I have had to reduce my part-time coaching job to part-part-time, because my passion for teaching and coaching is also my poison. It’s the ultimate paradox. How appropriate for an English teacher. Isn’t that fantastic! Lucky me! I can’t work! Actually, it’s quite the opposite. I want what I can’t have.

The plan was to go back to teaching and coaching in the local high school once my kid entered high school. If full-time and part-time work make me sick, then what in the Hell do I do with myself now, especially with a kid in high school and a husband who is away half of the month? That’s a lot of Netflix binging. I don’t want to go back to school, and I haven’t taught in 7 years. My resume lists stay-at-home mom, teacher, and coach. I’m not exactly screaming employable.

Hello mid forties life crisis. Come in. Have a seat. Just move the bon-bons off the coach and lower the volume on the TV. Just not too low. I don’t want to miss my soap opera. This is my second life crisis. Crisis isn’t quite the right word either. Crossroads is though. When I had my first psychological break, I spent 12 days locked in a  hospital’s psych ward. Of course no one wants to say they spent any time in a psychiatric ward, so instead this particular hospital called it Crossroads. Hence, in my mid thirties, I was at a crossroads at Crossroads. Clever, right? Seriously, someone tell me: does every decade of life have a Crossroads? Do we ever stop crossing roads? Maybe that’s what the chicken was trying to answer.

When I’m not working, I like to write and garden. I spend two thirds of my day literally talking to a dog and two cats. It wasn’t hard to put all that together and find the answer to this particular crossroads, and it’s just plain crazy. I am officially a blogging catnip farmer. Who says catnip is just for cats? In this case, catnip is my medical marijuana. NO! I’m not eating or smoking catnip. As far as I know it doesn’t have the same affect on humans, and it does not cure bipolar disorder or aid in symptom management. I’m just going to grow it, distribute it at local farmers’ markets and craft fairs, and then blog about it. I’ll make tons of money and have millions of blog followers. That sounds much better. My family will be so proud.

And this is why I’m so excited about my second tray of catnip. The first attempt was unsuccessful, but who’s counting. I can grow the hell out of cat grass but catnip takes talent. Cat grass is not like the “grass” you’re thinking of. It’s actually grown for them to eat. Think instead of cat lettuce. (See video. Meet siblings, from left to right, Mr.T and Cinder.)


My cats love cat grass so much that they eat it until they barf giant, slimy grass balls. Apparently, vomiting is good for them as it keeps their digestive tracts healthy. But it’s bad for me because it’s just plain nasty, like a freshly-raked pile of grass clippings with egg whites poured over it kind of gross. Scooping balls of cat excrement and balls of cat yack? No thanks. Hard pass. (JPC Moment: I used CitiKitty to toilet train my cats in an effort to avoid excrement collection. It worked for two years until Cinder decided “Not Today” and pooped in the corner next to the toilet every day for two weeks. She literally rolled her fat ass around in litter when I brought back the box.  She loves litter so much she buries all her “business” and her brother’s, too. She’s like a feline excavator.)

I digress. Back to catnip. It is the real “grass,” or cat cannabis. Don’t worry. I’m not giving my cats any illegal substances. Honest. All you doubters can visit The Humane Society. Cat grass has huge seeds, is very hardy, and grows like it’s on steroids. Catnip has microscopic seeds, delicate shoots, and, for me, grows only with the help of a sacred dance ritual to the Egyptian Cat Goddess, Bastet. Cats love both, but people love a cat high on nip. The proof is on YouTube. Search cats on catnip. I’m going to make millions.

There are a few minor problems with my new plan. You saw the picture of my few, sad catnip shoots. Let’s just say in the time it took me to write and edit this post, half of my crop died. You probably also noticed people can buy catnip and catnip filled toys for cheap at dollar stores, grocery stores, and super stores. The market is cornered and saturated. Looks like I’m shit out of luck and right back at another crossroads. Speaking of shit, maybe there’s work for me at CitiKitty. That would be just plain crazy.

PS: promise #3: posts won’t always be about cats. I’m not level of crazy….yet.

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6 thoughts on “Catnip…for people

  1. Why have we still not figured out how to pool our obvious mutual talents to accomplish something significant? We could take over a small country or start our own school. Except for the fact that cats make my eyes itchy and my skin break out in a rash.

    P.S. Have you considered growing cat mint? Its other name is nepanta.


  2. Jen….Thank you for the lesson on catnip, cat crap, and vomit. As a “cat disliker,” I never knew. 😀. I’ll be learning so much from your blog! Just a suggestion, could you use your talents as a part time -ish tutor? Resume writer? Keep on blogging…we will all learn from your voice and journey!


  3. Jennifer Waggoner May 29, 2018 — 6:56 pm

    Another great read!! Can’t wait to see how your crop turns out!!!


  4. Jennifer Waggoner May 29, 2018 — 6:57 pm

    Love the bears!!! A did an amazing job!!!


  5. The world doesn’t need another English teacher but it does need to hear from voices like yours. Kudos for your blog and your honesty.


    1. Thank you! I haven’t written awhile. Your response came at a much needed time. I appreciate your candor and the time you took to respond.


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