18

Cat Forum: Cats and Herbs

Greetings. Snoops and Kommando here. We’ve probably told you that our human brother is an outstanding cook – if you’re a human. He’s the one who introduced lentils to the menu. And chickpeas. And lots of dried beans. He also uses a lot of different herbs. Some of them smell good. Others just smell.

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Mom is trying to help. She bought a bunch of herb plants. Some are outside in pots, and some are inside in pots. It looks like a basil jungle under the plant light. Neither one of us is much for plants, so we’ve been avoiding them. But it did make us wonder if there were any herbs we should look out for.

As is the case for flowers and other plants, some herbs are good for us and we need to avoid some.  In the case of herbs that may be beneficial for cats, make sure your vet is on board before taking them medicinally.

Safe (and possibly beneficial) Herbs

Basil – Has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It also relieves anxiety in some kitties.

Calendula – It has anti-inflammatory properties. It might even be able to help speed up wound healing.

Catnip – It is a mood and activity stimulant and can help calm stress and anxiety. It also has anti-itch properties. Note that it is a member of the mint family and can cause vomiting and diarrhea if you overindulge.

Cats & Herbs | Good & Bad Herbs for your Furry Friend - THE SAGE

Cat’s Claw  – It helps with allergic reactions. It might help with your immune system.

Dandelion Root – It has anti-itch properties so it can help alleviate allergies. It also aids digestion and liver detoxification.

Dill – It can calm the stomach. It also alleviates bloating and gas.

Echinacea – It helps support good immune health. If you’re prone to upper respiratory infections (like the human cold), maybe you should ask your vet about it.

Goldenseal – It has antibacterial properties. It may be useful as a natural disinfectant on cuts and scrapes.

Licorice Root – It’s like the cortisone your human uses, so it helps your mucus membranes. It can reduce allergic itchiness, digestive issues (it is particularly soothing to your bowels), and respiratory problems.

Do Cats Like Mint? (Revealed!) | Pests Banned

Mint – It’s a natural pest repellent. It also soothes your skin and helps you relax. But too much can be rough on your tummy.

Parsley – It can help boost your immune system and support good eyesight (it provides vitamins A, C, and K).

Rosemary – It has antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It can help with your skin, coat, and eyesight. It also improves digestion.

Thyme – It has antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It also provides fiber to your diet.

Valerian – It is a mood and activity stimulant for cats. It can be used as an alternative to catnip or silver vine. Weirdly enough, it usually has the opposite effect on humans. It is also known to boost the immune system.

Witch Hazel – It can be used to treat feline acne. Simply dab your skin once or twice a day.

How to grow and care for chamomile | lovethegarden

Unsafe for Kitties

Chamomile – There are several types of chamomile. German chamomile is safe for cats. However, English, Roman or True chamomile can cause dermatitis, vomiting, diarrhea, and allergic reactions.

Foxglove – It can cause cardiac failure and death.

Garlic – It is extremely toxic. It can cause vomiting, increased heart rate, and damage to your red blood cells leading to hemolytic anemia.

Growing Lemongrass: Best Varieties, Planting Guide, Care, Problems, and  Harvest

Lemongrass – It can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Marijuana – It can cause vomiting, low blood pressure, hypersalivation, and possibly even seizure, coma, and death. No form is safe.

Onions and Chives – They can cause diarrhea, vomiting or an upset stomach and severe damage to the red blood cells. Onion powder is as dangerous as the whole onion.

Oregano – It can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

St. John’s Wort – It can make you more sensitive to the sun, leading to ulcerative or peeling dermatitis.

Tarragon – It can cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Catnip and Cats — In Defense of Plants

We’ve decided to leave the herbs to the humans. Although we are going to try to get Mom to move the catnip inside.

Pictures courtesy of Google Images (not us or our plants)

10

Unicorns: The Really True Story

 

Image result for unicorn

 

With all due respect to the Irish Rovers, they got the story wrong:

 

Here’s what really happened:

A long, long time ago, in the misty Scottish highlands, the head unicorn held a meeting with the entire herd. He reminded everyone of the importance of staying hidden. Humans could see them at the end of a storm if a rainbow appeared.

“Remember that most humans are harmless, particularly the little ones. But there are some who want to profit from us. They know that our horns can purify water and even heal the innocent. They will try to capture us and tie us up. A unicorn that is not free to roam will die.”

Image result for scottish highland villages

The unicorns all nodded that they understood. Most of them had never seen a human but knew they walked on two feet and didn’t have beautiful fur or feathers.

Not long afterwards, a storm came up in the middle of the day. Some children had been playing in a field and ran for home. One little girl slipped on the wet grass and hit her head on a stone. She was bleeding and didn’t move. The other children ran for her mother.

Image result for unicorns playing

Unicorns love rain and were playing in the woods near the field. They heard the screaming and watched the children run away. Two of the young unicorns walked up to the girl and stared at her; they had never been close to a human before. One gently nudged her with a hoof. She moaned but didn’t move. The other unicorn ran in terror.

The unicorn touched her head with his horn. She woke up and recognized that he was a unicorn. She reached out to pet him. Suddenly he looked up. The rain had ended and there was a rainbow. He raced away.

Image result for unicorn

He didn’t stop until he found the head unicorn. He related that he had touched a small human before he realized the rain had stopped. He admitted that she had seen him.

The head unicorn called a council with the elders. They all agreed that the herd was in grave danger. They knew what had happened to the leprechauns. The humans wouldn’t stop hunting until they found the unicorns. The herd disappeared deep into the highlands; to where the humans couldn’t go.

Image result for scottish highlands

In the meantime, the children had brought the girl’s mother to her. The girl was sitting up and was very excited. She started talking about the unicorn. How beautiful it was and how she had almost touched it. She was sure she had been cured by the unicorn’s horn.

Image result for unicorn

Her mother told her to calm down. She examined the bump on the girl’s head and the dried blood. Remembering that the girl had been unconscious, she asked the other children if they had seen the unicorn. One said that maybe he had gotten there after they left.

Being a practical sort, the mother didn’t believe in unicorns. With no proof, she concluded that it had been a dream. The children believed, but there was never another unicorn sighting.

Image result for faerie

A faerie told the unicorns the good news, but they liked their new home and never returned.

So if you’re ever deep in the Scottish highlands at the end of a storm and think you see the flash of a white horn . . .

Image result for unicorn

 

 

11

Mama Cat and the Badger

Image result for cat on christmas

 

It was Christmas Eve, and Mama Cat was totally exhausted. Her reputation as an herbalist and healer was spreading and she building a good practice. But all that work had put her behind in her Christmas preparations. She had just finished the baking and wrapping. But the house was a total mess.

She was startled by a loud knocking at the door. She hoped it wasn’t that lousy Tom. She should have known he had two other kitten mamas. Mama Cat opened the door.

Image result for badger

It was a very large badger. Mama Cat almost fainted with fear. He asked if he could come in. She nodded and pointed to a seat.

“Are you here to eat me?” She was terrified.

The badger looked hurt. “Of course not. I am asking for your help.”

Mama Cat looked confused. “What could I possibly do for you?”

The badger looked at her hopefully. “My name is Reginald Badger, and I live in the forest. My son was playing with some friends and it got a little rough. He was clawed rather badly. My wife says that you can heal animals and was hoping that you would help our son.”

Image result for badger family

Mama Cat looked around the house. “But it’s Christmas Eve, and I have five kittens in the other room who are waiting for Santa Claws.” Reginald looked crestfallen and nodded. “I told Margery that you probably couldn’t make it. I apologize for intruding.” He got up to leave.

Mama Cat looked at his sad face and then around the room. How long could it possibly take? And how could she let that little badger die? “I think there is time to help your son before the kittens wake up. Let me get my things.”

As she gathered her things, she hoped that she wasn’t volunteering to be Christmas dinner for a family of badgers. Reginald took her bag and offered a ride on his back. Mama Cat was feeling worse and worse about her decision.

As Reginald ran through the trees for what felt like an extremely long time, Mama Cat began to worry about getting home in time to finish getting things ready for the kittens. “I wonder if Santa Claws will leave presents at a house that doesn’t offer him a bowl of cream?”

Image result for santa claws

Finally Reginald stopped. Mama Cat climbed down as he opened the door. She swallowed nervously and followed him in.

Suddenly Mama Cat was being hugged. “Oh thank you Ms. Cat for coming all the way out here on Christmas Eve! I’m Margery Badger, and we are so grateful that you are here. I know that you can help Eugene. Let me show you the way.” Mama Cat was a little overwhelmed. “Please call me Belle. I hope I can help.” She followed Margery into another room.

There was a much smaller badger laying on the bed. He was asleep but was moaning in pain. Belle looked at the wound. “It is rather nasty isn’t it? Let me see what I can do. Would you please bring some warm water so I can clean it out?”

Image result for sick badger

Margery quickly returned with the water. “Now would you please boil some water and let these herbs soak in the water for 10 minutes?” Belle carefully cleaned the wound and got a better look at it. It was deep, but didn’t seem to have caused much damage.

She took some spider webbing and put it in the wound to stop the bleeding. When Margery returned, Belle poured the hot liquid into a cloth and applied it to the wound. “You will need to re-apply the poultice every six hours for two days. Belle handed Margery a second herb. “Make a spoonful of this into tea several times a day. It smells and tastes horrible, but it will help with the healing.”

Image result for herbal tea

Both of the badgers hugged Belle and asked how they could repay her. Overcome with fatigue again, she said that a ride home would be nice.

When she opened the door to her house, Belle was amazed. It was spotless. There were gifts from Santa Claws for the kittens and a note on the table.

“Dear Belle – Since you were away helping the badgers, I decided that the best gift for you would be to have an elf clean your house. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! All the best – Santa Claws.”

Belle thought she must be dreaming and curled up with the kittens.

Image result for mother cat with kittens

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