Like most things of this nature, it was easy to just skim over the little, tell-tale signs of trouble before the fur hit the fan.
Such as...watching my two youngest fur babies, Kip and Whiskers, chasing madly through the house, up stairs and down, without pause (but with much paws) and without regard for Whis' game back leg. No big deal, cats do this, right? Sure.
Then came their strange fascination with television. Animal Planet shows? O.K., I'm cool with that. But when they started watching the headline feed at the bottom of the all-news channel, AND trying to catch it, AND bristling every time Dick Cheney showed up on screen, well, that got a little weird (albeit, understandable). The oddest part was seeing the two of them, with rapt attention, watching the World Poker Tour, then leaving the room, coming back to see them hurriedly closing the laptop. Later I found emails from Club WPT addressed to "PokerBratCats"--and a debit from our bank account for $19.95 a month. (That's my story and I'm sticking with it...).
It was while grocery shopping on a busy Friday that I saw, out of the corner of my eye, Kip and Whis surreptitiously (well, as surreptitiously as two cats can) pushing a heaping cart load of potato chips and Oreos toward the checkout. I tried following them, but they disappeared, I think behind a stack of 20lb bags of bird seed.
Obviously, something illicit and bizarre was going on. But it wasn't until I awoke to a mess of epic proportions that I realized what it was and how I had unwittingly been an enabler.
I had purchased a container of dried catnip for two reasons: 1) to encourage my fur kids to use their scratching posts and not the furniture and 2) for their personal enjoyment, because I love them (awwwww!). Little did I know how a simple act of love and generosity could turn my precious little angels into little furry drug addicts.
Imagine waking up to find dried catnap strewn haphazardly everywhere--carpets, furniture, stairs, countertops. Yes, the plastic container that held the enticing little green flakes--that snapped so tightly shut I had trouble opening it with fully opposable thumbs--had been first bitten into (they hadn't tried to hide the teeth marks), then pried open. Even more alarming was that the container had been sitting at the back of the counter top, behind boxes of crackers, a bottle of wine and a bread maker.
It was horrible! Once my husband and I had gathered up as much of the dried drug as we could, and swept and vacuumed up the rest (and placed the container on a top cupboard shelf where, hopefully, it is safe...), we knew it was time for drastic action.
With the catnip safely stored away (hopefully), we turned our attention to a kitty intervention...with cat treats.
A moderately good plan except, now, Kipper is totally addicted to cat treats and, if left unguarded or not hidden, in an unopened bag...you guessed it. Torn bags and treats all over the place. But at least the local 'catnip dealers' have stopped hanging around both our front and back porches, the cats stay pretty quiet and don't race through the house tripping us up, and the container has stayed safely out of reach (fingers crossed).
Club WPT still debits our bank account. But, um, let's not talk about that, shall we ;)