We usually think of cats as graceful, sophisticated creatures. But give them a little catnip, and they can become straight-up goofballs.
It’s a hilarious incongruity that professional cat photographer Andrew Marttila has captured in his new book, Cats on Catnip.
“I don’t remember the first time I gave my cat catnip, but I recall immediately wishing to see what it would look like frame-by-frame,” Marttila told HuffPost in an email. “As soon as my photography advanced to the point where I learned how to capture those wild moments, I was hooked on taking freeze frame action shots.”
It was after seeing his former roommate’s cat on the ’nip that he began getting the idea to create a whole photo series of blissed-out felines.
“My old roommate’s cat absolutely loved the stuff,” he said. “We’re talking 12-step program obsession. Whenever I’d give him catnip, I felt like my next move was to call the exorcist.”
Cats acting cray on catnip soon became one of his favorite subjects to shoot, and he figured the photos would make a pretty good book. Armed with the knowledge that about 70 to 80 percent of cats have an intense response to the plant, he put out a casting call and began traveling around the country on a furry important quest.
Over the course of six months, he gave more than 100 felines piles of the kitty-safe herb and snapped photos of the cats while they went bonkers on it.
And for every shoot, he came fully supplied — with four to five tubs of different kinds of catnip.
“A lot of cat owners don’t know how to dish out the stuff,” he said. “Cats don’t want a pinch! They want to cover their entire bodies in it. I took a number of hilarious photos with cats completely covered in catnip like a suit of euphoric armor.”
To see some of Marttila’s photos of cats in their happy place, take a look below.