The current cat is named Marmaduke. He is a big old tom cat that patrols the place and keeps us entertained. We had him neutered and take him to the vet each year to get his vaccinations. Other than that, he is fairly "maintenance free". We bought a self-feeder for him and Tom built a little house for him to sleep in when it is cold. We put it up next to the house under the back patio cover. Last winter we stuffed lots of old blankets in there and Marmaduke stayed toasty warm.
He comes and goes, but mostly stays close by. You never know where you will find him. Sometimes he seems to appear out of thin air. This afternoon I caught him sleeping on top of one of our trash cans.
Catnip is a perennial herb of the mint family. It is native to Europe and was imported to the United States. It now grows wild and is sometimes considered a weed.
As it turns out Marmaduke is only mildly interested in it. Here he is in February giving it a "smelling over".
So, I got to wondering why some cats are reported to go nuts over it and others don't. Here is what I found out. Catnip contains a chemical called nepetalactone that triggers the catnip response. Some cats are sensitive to the chemical and exhibit the stereotypical reaction. As it turns out, the catnip reaction is inherited, and some cats are totally unaffected by it. Apparently, Marmaduke is one of these. Large cats, like tigers, can be sensitive to it as well.