Halloween is coming up soon. Time to get stocked up on treats, carve a boo-face into your pumpkin, decorate your yard or window, and think up a costume for yourself if you’re off to a Halloween party. Or, maybe you’re they type that plans to hide out in the dark from twilight on and needs to figure out how to watch TV. Amid all these plans and preparation, don’t forget your cat.
Cats have long been associated with All Hallows Eve, the night when ghosts and spirits haunt the living. The custom of facing down the dead with humour and ridicule likely predates Christianity. For Christians, All Hallow’s Eve is the night before All Saints Day. In many legends cats – especially black cats – have been associated with witchcraft, evil, and bad luck. Who hasn’t heard the saying, “If a black cat crosses your path, you will have bad luck.”
Who knows the reasons for this? Perhaps it’s because cats are nocturnal. Perhaps it’s because they sometimes seem to see things that aren’t there; they get spooked. Perhaps it’s because cats can see so well in the dark. Perhaps it’s because cats – like all felines – are stealthy stalkers.
Especially if your cat is black, or even a dark tortie or tabby, or just any old feline, it could become the target of a sadistic Halloween prank. When I was in Grade School, the boys used to tie strings of those little red fire crackers to cats’ tails and light them. They thought that was fun. A great joke. What they did to cats in High School I never knew. For that, I’m grateful.
We shouldn’t forget, either, that there might be members of Satanic cults around who might need a cat for some special rites on Halloween. They’re not the types who announce they’re members of such a cult. So, you might have no idea who these people are. What they might do to cats is too gruesome to think about.
If your cat goes outdoors at all, make sure it’s inside at least a day or so before Halloween. For me, it’s an important routine I started as soon as I owned my first cat. I hadn’t forgotten those boys in Grade School.
So, dress your kids up as black cats on Halloween, if it suits your fancy. But keep your real cat safely inside.
Did Your Know? The LCHS has an annual Halloween special on black cats, but be ready to be questioned on your motives.