Black cats have so long been associated with witches and witchcraft that during October, the month of Halloween, they are favorite icons used for costumes, home decor, and party themes. This folk lore embellished trend is so embedded in modern society that we’ve forgotten that the holiday we celebrate today had ancient beginnings still held in reverence today:
* Samhain: The religious year of Pagans starts and ends with Samhain, which is also the beginning of the Celtic new year, as well as an occasion to honor one’s ancestors;
* All Hallows’ Eve: Roman Catholics celebrate the first of November as The Solemnity of All Saints. October 31st is thereby designated as All Hallows’ Eve, since the saints celebrated on November 1st are considered hallowed. The following day is observed as All Soul’s Day;
* El Dia de Los Muertos: This Hispanic holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts.
As the merriment approaches, please pay heed to the vulnerability of all cats, regardless of color, at this time of year:
* Don’t leave your cat out in the yard on Halloween; the reasons are obvious;
* Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets: Chocolate is poisonous to a lot of animals, and tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed. [An aside - it is my humble opinion that throughout recorded history, only ONE batch of "candy corn" has ever been produced, gets collected worldwide surreptitiously, repackaged, and redistributed annually.];
* Be mindful of animals around candle-lit pumpkins: Pets may knock them over and cause fires. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned.
* Don’t dress kitties in costumes; arched backs, fur on edge and glittering, slitted eyes are purr-fect all by themselves!
From the Kitten Smittens – Good Samhain, Blessed All-Hallow’s, Felicidades por el Dia de Los Muertos, and a Boo-tiful Happy Halloween!