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The cats are in the proverbial doghouse! Big time. A major rule of the house HAS BEEN BROKEN!!!! I had slipped out to do a little shopping. When I left, I told them, “See you in a couple of hours.” I know that sounds a bit weird — what difference does it make to the cats if I say I’ll be gone for two days or half an hour? But it makes me feel like someone cares. Now I’m starting to suspect that cats do indeed have a sense of time.  I wasn’t gone as long as I told them I would be. In fact, I came back in a mere half hour. As soon as I put the key in the door, I knew something was amiss. Nick tried to block my entrance into the apartment. Very strange, indeed. Rose ran from the door and jumped up on the back of the sofa and perched primly like a Ms. Innocence Herself. I didn’t buy that for one minute.

It only took a peek into the kitchen to know the crime. Nip! They had broken into the nip bag. I yelled, they ran — slinked off to the furthest corner of the apartment where they could still keep an eye on me but were out of water-spraying reach. Having read nothing but mysteries for the last year, I could re-construct the crime in my head. Rose was the mastermind — egging her brother on. “Come on, Nick, she’s not coming back for hours yet. Get up on that counter. Good Guy.” She then showed him how to get the drawer open, waiting down below for the first flakes of nip to fall. Then I showed up too soon to foil their fun.

There was catnip everywhere — all over the counter, the floor, the stove, oven mitts and even decorating my one-and-only apron that sports a cat singing, Love to eat them mousies, Mousies what I love to eat. Bite they little heads off…Nibble on they tiny feet.” The kitchen was a MESS — some might say it was a mess before this! I didn’t think that there was that much nip left in that bag — maybe exposure to air multiples the amount in the bag just like those toys that promise to grow to 650 times their original size by just putting them in a wee bit of water.

Then, as I swept the final flakes off the floor, I wondered how much was ingested by these little glassy-eyed beasties? It didn’t take long to know that a substantial amount of nip had been knocked back. Cool, laid-back Nick turned — right in front of my eyes — into The Big Bad Testosterone Male of this Household. Reminders of cat hell sprang into my head with each shriek from the not-so-innocent Rose as he chased her and bit the hair on her back. Then her own nip-high kicked in and she rolled on her back and batted any attempt he made at getting close to her. I stayed out of it at that point having learned my anti-biotic lesson from the last cat hell.

Too much nip seems to have the same effect on these cats as too much turkey had on me at Thanksgiving — they’re zonked out in their respective corners. I had my lecture all ready to give. I wanted to tell them that I’m writing to Santa Cat and telling her not to bother to visit this household on Christmas morning. No way. Bad cats get NOTHING. No special squeaky toys in their stockings and definitely no forbidden-Temptations as a Christmas evening treat. Nope. There will be nothing whatsoever on Christmas morning for these bad cats.

But then I remembered. It was me who had left the drawer open. Oops. How could they have possibly resisted all that glorious, unlimited nip just sitting there to be had. I, of all people, should be more forgiving considering my own addictive behavior. I’m not going to confess my guilt to them — not yet anyway. But I will make sure that there are Temptations in the house on the 25th.