October is National Black Cat Month, and Halloween festivities pose several concerns for safety for all cats, not just black ones.
For centuries, black cats have been associated with witch craft. In Greek mythology, Galenthias was turned into a cat and became a priestess in the temple of Hecate. In 12th and 13th century Europe, witches were accompanied everywhere by their cats, and during the 17th century witch persecutions, they were burned at stakes with not only their own cats but others that were gathered in baskets and burned with them.
In current day, the prevelance of Satanic ritual and abuse of all cats, but especially black ones, is so high that most shelters and humane societies will not adopt a black cat to any potential pet owner. The least insidious problem is the overwhelming return of these cats who have been used for Halloween parties as decorations.
The problem range continues in severity on through those that use cats for Satanic cult sacrifices, draining blood, removing organs, and torturing them for cult purposes. I remember a very well loved cat at our vet clinic who was found sawed in half. We never found his front half, and the cut was so skillfully surgically done that it was clearly not the work of amateurs. This cat was very elderly and lived in Frontenac. We at the clinic knew this cat very well (he boarded often) and we were devasted.
Since shelters do not adopt out black cats, those looking for mischief will frequent the streets and seek to pick up friendly house pets that have been let outside. All colours of cats are at risk this month, not just black cats. The cat that I just referenced above was pure white.
On a softer note, there are many ways that we can make our indoor cats' lives safer for the celebrations of the season. Following is a helpful list of tips that I found on cats.about.com:
- Cats love to play with crinkly toys, and candy wrappers are just crinkly enough and small enough to be ingested. Watch to throw those wrappers away immediately.
- Many decorations include electrical cords, which can be fun to play with like string. Batteries roll and can also be very fun for a cat to chase. Make sure both are inaccessible to your feline friend.
- Some cats love pumpkin, but after a few days of sitting out, our little goulish gourds can begin to sprout mold, which can cause intestinal upset. Canned pumpkin can be a frequent dietary additive if your veterinarian approves, as it is commonly used to prevent constipation.
- Dogs are much more attracted to chocolate than cats, but it is not advised for either pet. Chocolate contains Theobromine, which is toxic and can lead to death.
- Finally, when all your little Trick-Or-Treaters come to the door, ringing the bell, makes sure that Fluffy and Fido are safely contained to a back room and do not dart out the door and become hurt or lost.
Halloween is, for some reason, my favourite holiday (it must be my "inner witch" coming out!) and I would not miss it for the world. A friend and I are going to Kimmswick's 2nd Annual Witches' Night Out on Saturday, October 13th. I have my costume all ready - complete with my little black stuffed kitty! I am really looking forward to it - for more information, go to Gokimmswick.com or the Kimmswick Visitor Center or call 636.464.6464.
Have fun, be safe, and go hug your cats for me!
Dorene and Scruffles, who is a long haired orange tabby, mmm, wonderful Halloween colours!