Nikki Byrne intended last year to fill the terracotta pots in her backyard with herbs, but when she got to the nursery, the only healthy plant she could find was catnip, so she bought some anyhow.
She had never had cats as a child and hence was unaware that most cats find this delicious plant irresistible – but she was about to find out!
Catnip is a perennial herb in the mint family that many people are unfamiliar with. Its advantages are not just appealing to cats, but they can also help humans.
Nikki explained, “shortly after planting it.” “One morning, I heard a disturbance outside. A huge elderly tabby cat was up on the fence when I peered out the window. When he went after it, he managed to knock one of the catnip pots down.”
Mister, the wise old tabby cat, began to visit her patio on a daily basis. He had no collar and was a touch rough around the edges, so Nikki assumed he was a stray and began putting food and water out for him.
Her yard was overrun with cats in a matter of days. Mister had clearly spread the word that this was a safe haven with food and water — and catnip, of course!
Nikki saw all the younger cats jumping and playing about and decided to buy some toys, scratching posts, tunnels, and even a heated cat home to keep them entertained.
She had built a haven for cats.
Mister kept an eye on the younger members of his community at all times, but he was unconcerned about Nikki.
With time and compassion, she gained his trust and was soon able to stroke him and feed him from her hand.
Nikki enjoyed seeing the cats in her backyard play, but she realized they needed to be put on a trap neuter return program.
So she called a San Luis Obispo County community cat organization, which agreed to assist her.
Generations of cats have been rescued in Nikki’s neighborhood because of her dedication, all because of a few pots of catnip.
Well done Nikki!
Watch the video below: