Catnip Bubbles (about $5 at most retailers) didn't perplex us at all, not at first. The only thing that puzzled us here at Shine Pets HQ is that we'd never heard of such a product before. We just knew our cats would love it! We couldn't wait to try them!
Alas, the perplexion didn't take long to set in after we cracked the seal on the bubbles. The label promises "super concentrated," "pure potent enjoyment" – but that wasn't the reaction we saw amongst our four test subjects. Well, one irritated victim seemed "super concentrated" on running away from the bubbles, but that doesn't count.
Test Subject #1: Hobey
Hobey exists in a constant state of beleaguerment, and is older than most hills, but despite a Russian-novelist attitude and advanced age, he still has a kittenish streak, pouncing on a Cat Dancer and stalking the occasional leopard mousie. He's a nip enthusiast, so we thought he'd be the bubbles' biggest fan once he figured out what they contained.
…Nope. Didn't just not like them; hated them immediately. Hissed very loudly at one bubble that had the temerity to pop on his whisker, then climbed into a drawer and fell reproachfully asleep. He's shown below, founding the Occupy The Pets Editor's Pajama Drawer movement.
Test Subject #2: Little Joe
Little Joe is strange case, because he's like a dog – fetches things, doesn't mind wearing a harness (much), loves water, needier than most cats. He's also not a huge nip-head, but he has enjoyed interfering with the local toddler's bubbles in the past, so if the catnip part of the experience didn't get him, I thought the moving spheres would.
Another goose egg, however – Joe sat, immobile, while our tester nearly passed out blowing a Biblical hail of bubbles big and small in his direction. Then he lay down and went to sleep while bubbles popped on his ear tips. …Message received.
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Test Subject #3: Mabel
Mabel is the youngest and feistiest of the resident felines, although she's more of a "found objects" toy fan (crumpled Post-Its, hair elastics, et al.). Still, we theorized that more youthful energy might equal a more enthusiastic reception.
Theory disproven! Mabel could not possibly have cared any less about the bubbles. Happy to maul a paper clip five minutes later, but the bubbles, bubkes.
Test Subject #4: Serena
Serena lives downstairs from HQ. Hypothesizing that perhaps our on-site cats are simply weird enemies of fun (for which there is, sadly, ample early-morning evidence), we "borrowed" a white fluffball from the satellite office. Said fluffball is reported to be a catnip junkie, so we eagerly anticipated much batting and leaping about.
These activities remain in the future, though. Serena watched a few bubbles with what we hoped was mild interest, then dashed our hopes by stalking off. We followed her, continuing to blow bubbles – perhaps a different size of bubble! More bubbles? ...Is this thing on? Serena slunk under the couch. We sent one last tiny bubble underneath in pursuit. No answer.
So, we're officially perplexed. Four cats of different ages, temperaments, and affinities for nip; not one of them liked the bubbles, and half of them didn't care at all. We could conclude that the bottle we got – which did seem somewhat aged – had lost some of its catnip strength, but why did the same cats who love the Cat Dancer, tiny pillow feathers floating through sunbeams, and accidental indoor moths totally ignore this other floating object designed to appeal to them?
We're baffled, because we don't think it's the product. It should have gotten the same bonkers reception as the laser pointer. But it didn't.
What about you guys – anyone else try these? What about a different brand? Do your cats love the bubbles, or did you get the same snore/hiss response we did? Tell us in the comments. (Also: anyone want half a bottle of catnip bubbles? …Sigh.)
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