It's a lot harder to get a cat — even one named Tequila — "drunk" than you might think.
Cats don't know how to play drinking games, and since they could not care less about anyone's opinion other than their own, are completely uninterested in learning. Of course, the only reason I know all this is because I tried — and failed — on four separate occasions.
A few weeks ago, the internet exploded over the invention of "cat wine," a catnip-infused fruit juice from Apollo Peak. Being the enterprising journalist that I am, I decided to investigate.
So I bought a bottle of the Mos-CAT-o and patiently waited for its delivery. I wasn't the only one. According to Brandon Zavala, the company's founder, the viral media storm created a surge in orders that came to a head on June 25, causing Apollo Peak to fall behind on production.
Once it finally arrived, I couldn't wait to get wasted with my feline friend, Tequila (whose name alone should tell you everything you need to know about her owner's imbibing tendencies).
For many, cat wine's main appeal is also its guiding mantra: #WhyDrinkAlone. Finally, nature has bestowed upon cat owners the perfect excuse to hunker down with a bottle of wine, their Netflix queue, and a cuddly companion.
And while I'm sure many people would enjoy experiencing that, I couldn't imagine anyone who would like to read about it.
Instead, to shake up our normal weekday routine and reward ourselves for being so patient, I decided to take Tequila out for a night on the town, or at least a night at my friend's house. It also didn't hurt having two more, and arguably more sober, people there to help document how the night's events would unfold.
With her paw around a bottle of Apollo Peak's Mos-CAT-o and my hand around another of Trader Joe's Blue Fin Moscato, we began the long, arduous journey of getting turnt on a Tuesday.
It quickly turned out to be a solo one. After pouring about half the cat wine bottle's contents into Tequila's water bowl, I politely asked her, "Who's ready to get drunk with Mommy?" Then I poured a glass of human Moscato for myself to demonstrate to Tequila what she should do because I am nothing if not a perfect role model.
I watched her approach and sniff it. At first, she was skeptical of the catnip-infused juice ... but then she began to lap it up.
Unfortunately, despite my best efforts and chanting techniques, no matter how much she drank, Tequila seemed to stay sober.
I'd love to say she slurred her meows, stumbled around on four paws, or otherwise acted drunk in a way I could show on Instagram.
However, the only effect — discernible to my admittedly hazy human eyes, anyway — was a case of the drunchies. As soon as we got home, she devoured her cat food like college kids do a dollar slice of pizza at 3 a.m.
Either my cat acts the same "drunk" as she does sober or just knows how to hold her catnip. Whichever one it is, she lived up to her name.
The next morning, I realized I left my wallet at my friend's apartment. So while I'm still not sure how effective cat wine is, human wine seems to be doing its job just fine.
And though I was hungover, I wasn't a quitter. I tried to get Tequila "drunk" on three subsequent occasions — even playing the long game of getting her day drunk on Saturday.
But as the old saying goes: You can lead a cat to wine, but you can't make her drink. Tequila only drank when she thirsty and often switched between the cat wine and some regular water I poured into a second dish.
At the end of each day, no matter how much she did or didn't drink, my little lush just seemed a little sleepier than usual.
Then again, cats normally nap an average of 15 hours a day, so what do I know?
Apparently, not much. But what I've learned is that my cat is better at drinking than I am or — at the very least — better at hiding it.