May 22, 2006

Cats and Cockroaches

What do cats and cockroaches have in common? My cat dearly loves to catch cockroaches nearly every night (I don't think we actually have any in our house; the only ones I've seen are the ones who come in under the garage door while my cat waits patiently to attack!) As the cockroach makes it way under the door - poof! my cat pounces upon it straight away, only to let it go immediately. Then she picks the cockroach up in her teeth, ever so gingerly, not seeming to hurt it in the least, bounding across the house to deposit her most beloved gift in my bed, while I'm there, sleeping, on my lap. It always pleases me so much! Then, pounce! Let go! Pounce! Let go! On and on until the poor cockroach is so worn out it can hardly resist any longer. If I don't kill it first, after about an hour of torturous playing and batting it like a hockey puck, the poor thing finally kicks the bucket. But this cat just goes for the kill; she'll never eat them. My other cat, however, won't touch the things until they are dead, at which time she feasts on the delicacy. She doesn't seem to care for the prickly legs, though, so we have to be careful when walking barefoot, as we may step on a very small, neat little pile of cockroach legs. End of story.

However, cats and cockroaches have even more in common than being in the same food chain. Catnip! One goes nuts over it, while the other is repelled by it.

Did you know that a little catnip a day can keep the roaches away? Nepetalactone is a chemical found in catnip that repels roaches, Chris Peterson and Joel Coats, researchers from Iowa State University found.

I know that the only kind of cockroaches I like are dead ones, but the chemicals used to kill them are so toxic, I really don't want those chemicals in my house either. I wonder what would happen if I sprinkle a little catnip around the garage door, where they seem to enter. Or maybe I should try growing catnip plants around the perimeter of my home. Can't hurt. I know my cats would love them!

1 comment:

Mark Epstein said...

I know Misty really likes bringing us these little "gifts" of hers, but let's try growing the catnip -- that way all of us can be happy. ;~}