Black Cats and Halloween
Even though most Halloween customs date back to the ancient celebration of Samhain, the association of black cats with Halloween is a far more recent addition. During the Middle Ages, cats began to be associated with witches. The exact reason for this is unclear but historians believe that it has something to do with a cat’s nocturnal nature. The powerful association between witches and cats, especially black cats, persisted throughout the years. Today, modern celebrations of Halloween often include images of the wicked witch with a black cat right behind her.
During ancient witch trials, cats were often tortured and killed by puritans along with the supposed witches. This occurred because many believed that witches had the ability to change shape into a cat and that both cats and witches were evil. Many people also believed that witches would sacrifice cats during their rituals. Because of communal reinforcement, many animal shelters will not allow the adoption of black cats around Halloween for fear of their abuse.
It is always a good idea to keep all cats indoors during Halloween, regardless of their color. Even if there is no one meaning ill will in your neighborhood or community, the sheer number of people out and about on Halloween, combined with the increased vehicular traffic make the outdoors a scary and unsafe place for our furry friends.
Keep your pets locked inside an interior room in your house on Halloween so that they do not panic when children come to your door in costume. Even the calmest of cats can become upset at the endless doorbell ringing and constant screaming of “trick or treat”. Remember to enjoy yourself this Halloween while trying to make the holiday as stress-free as possible for your feline friend.
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