Tag: Andrew Marttila

A Guy In Canada Wants To Open A Catnip Dispensary

Fuzz Aldrin. Meower Diesel. Freddie Purrcury. Pawnapple Express.

If a Toronto man gets his way, cats will soon get their catnip fix the same way their humans get their marijuana: In colorful, slickly-produced packaging featuring whimsically named strains purchased through a dispensary.

The aspiring catnip entrepreneur calls himself Mikey Fivebucks and has launched his business, Catnip Dispensary Inc., from his Toronto apartment.

Now he’s trying to take his business to the next level with a Kickstarter to help fund the equipment and growing space he’ll need to make a name for himself among the world’s stoner cats and the humans who enable them.

Catnip, also known as nepeta cataria, is a mint plant that produces euphoria and acts as a sedative for most cats via a naturally occurring chemical compound called Nepetalactone, which is found in the plant.

About two thirds of cats are susceptible to catnip’s effects, while other cats may respond to silver vine. The compounds in both plants bind to feline olfactory receptors, prompting cats to roll on the ground, purr, drool and mellow out.

Most cats sniff, lick or chew catnip, while others (like our very own Buddy) eat the plant. (Response from Buddy: “It’s delicious!”)

Catnip isn’t just for domestic kitties: Wildcats like lynx and Servals are susceptible to it, as are big cats.

Fivebucks says his product is not the same as the dried, flaky catnip found in pet stores. The leaves are kept moist by controlling humidity during the drying and storing process.

“It keeps it flavourful and it keeps the natural oils,” Fivebucks told blogTO, a local Toronto news site. “It’s moist, a bit like weed.”

Fivebucks isn’t the only entrepreneur pushing high-grade ‘nip in packaging and under names reminiscent of marijuana dispensaries. Meowijuana, a Kansas-based company, has been selling catnip in “medicinal” bottles and naming their strains after feline puns for years.

The catnip company’s packaging and tongue-in-cheek advertising has been so successful that sometimes people show up expecting a marijuana dispensary, employees say. On another occasion, someone called the police. Although the officers said they were required to follow through on the complaint, they joked around with Meowijuana employees and even posed with a staffer wearing the company’s cat mascot costume.

Like its counterparts in the marijuana industry, Meowijuana has enjoyed record sales during the COVID-19 pandemic as people practice social distancing and hunker down with their pets.

“People get that this is a little bit tongue-in-cheek that we’re having a little fun, but there’s a good quality product for pets under it,” said Meowijuana’s Scott Ragan. “Part of having pets is sharing time with them — not just feeding them — but sharing time and engaging in that emotional bond, and I think everybody here appreciates that.”

Cats On Catnip photos by Andrew Marttila.

14 Overdoses Traced To Los Gatos Catnip

LOS ANGELES — At least 14 feline overdoses have been linked to a powerful new strain of catnip sold by Los Gatos cartel, the Feline Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said Thursday.

The new strain is a hybrid of the popular Purrple Haze and Meowie Wowie variants sprinkled with catnip-flavored Temptations that have been crushed into powder, the agency said.

Dubbed “Da Zooms,” the ultra-potent new nip is often cut with oregano to reduce its effects, but inexperienced cats may not realize what they’re dealing with. Overdoses render felines catatonic for several hours, during which they roll around with a blank stare before sliding into a deep sleep from which they cannot be roused until the effects wear off.

“This is powerful stuff,” said Squiggy the Siamese, president of Cats Against Narcotic Additives Baked Into Snacks, or CANABIS, a powerful anti-Temptations lobbying group. “If it can knock a 20-pound Maine Coon unconscious, imagine what it can do to an innocent three-pound kitten.”

catnip3
The potent new blend of catnip is proving irresistable to cats.

Cat parents and caretakers are advised to look for the following signs that could indicate their furry loved ones are addicted to Da Zooms:

  • Suddenly getting the zooms and bolting around the house at 30 mph
  • Loss of interest in favorite foods and snacks that aren’t Temptations
  • Refusing regular catnip, or complaining that it’s “weak stuff”
  • Raiding pantries for cans of wet food, which are used as currency to buy highly potent illegal nip
  • Frequent trips to “The Corner”
  • Shaking paws and night sweats after being cut off from the product

In the meantime, the National Ad Council has unveiled a new PSA meant to inform cats of the dangers they face by consuming illegal catnip.

“This is your brain,” the ad’s narrator intones as the camera settles on a brand new, unblemished couch. “This is your brain on ‘nip,” the narrator continues with the camera scrolling over to an old, beat-up couch with claw marks all over it. “Any questions?”

couch

Diego Gatinez, a spokesman for Los Gatos, called the new ads “racist” and blamed “uninformed gringos” for alleging that his organization is a cartel.

“We are a charitable 501(c)(3) organization, and we don’t appreciate the insinuation that we’re involved in illegal or violent activities,” Gatinez said. “Anyone who continues to intimate that we are a violent criminal organization should sleep with one eye open, because Los Gatos could appear right when you least expect us.”

Top image and the two following images by Andrew Marttila from his book, aptly titled “Cats On Catnip.”