BLACK CATS AND HALLOWEEN
While October may be the favorite month of many people who excitedly plan costumes and carve pumpkins in anticipation of Halloween, cat (black cats in particular) have little cause for celebration.
The black cat has become almost synonymous with Halloween. Even though the cat’s arched silhouette has become an integral part of the holiday, most people don’t know how cats first became associated with the spookiest day of the year. The cat’s history is one of the most mystical and contradictory. They have been both loved and feared throughout history, although why cats were revered in some places and condemned in others is not fully clear.
For instance, the Chinese, Japanese and Egyptians believed cats were sacred creatures. However, in India, Europe and America, cats (particularly black cats), have long been associated with evil, witchcraft and inauspicious tidings. This reputation seems to originate in Europe in the 13th century when Pope Gregory stated that cats were creatures from Satan himself…which laid the groundwork for their association with witchcraft and evil onward.
Cats are nocturnal animals and this preference for prowling at night certainly didn’t hurt their chances for becoming a fixture for a nighttime holiday. Throw in a black cat whose coloring allows it to become one of the shadows, separated only occasionally from the darkness by two glowing eyes – they were all but guaranteed a position among the icons of Halloween alongside ghosts, tombstones and bats.
Depending on the culture (and century), black cats can indicate good luck as well as bad. In the United States, a black cat crossing your path or even entering your property is considered a bad omen, but in the United Kingdom and Austrailia simply owning or even touching a black cat is thought to bring good luck. In the sea-faring days, having a black cat in your home meant your sailor would return safely, or if the cat lived on the boat – even better luck (as long as you didn’t mention its name).
However, here in the U.S., superstitions, myths and the mystical reign supreme this time of year and as a result, some people can be cruel to cats during the Halloween season.
We recommend that you keep all cats indoors during the month of October, regardless of their color, but especially our shadow-colored companions. There are more people about, more traffic on the road, and occasionally more ‘crazy’ in the air than can be safe for our indoor/outdoor pets.
Halloween should be a fun time for children as well as adults, and it should be a stress-free and safe time for our pets. Be aware of the dangers and take precautions to keep your cat safe over the weekend!
-Written by Elena Bauske-Khalar (one of our amazing receptionists)