photo by Helmi Flick
Halloween is coming. Halloween is celebrated in certain western countries on the night of October 31st. In England, some of the things that people do on Halloween now take place on bonfire night, the 5th November, instead. But Halloween is still recognized in the UK.
Bonfire night is a celebration of the stopping of the Gunpowder Plot, which was a conspiracy to blow up the Houses of Parliament (5th Nov. 1605). One of the leaders was Guy Fawkes. The night of 5th November, is sometimes called "Guy Fawkes Night".
What's all this got to do with cats? Well, black cats and Halloween go together. The Celts believed that people who were sinful returned as cats. Animal sacrifice would release the human spirit.
Black cats were associated with witches and witchcraft many centuries ago.
Some religions today believe the cat to be associated with the devil. In short there is a lot of nonsense written about the cat and this puts the cat in a vulnerable position during Halloween.
Not just because of the black cat's association with evil and bad luck but because of all the noise with fireworks that disturbs cats generally.
My cat (a black and white) is frightened when fireworks go off. And in the UK they go off from mid-October to well after Nov. 5th. Sometimes if seems as if we are living through a war during this period, with huge fireworks going off night after night.
There are also irresponsible people who actually believe that black cats are an embodiment of evil etc.
So, in order to try and think about Halloween from a cat's perspective during this time of year, I offer a competition to visitors to this website (this competition is now closed - Oct 2014).
I will give $300 or equivalent (in the form of a digital camera of same value of your choice, a cheque or a PayPal transfer) to the person who makes the best submission to this forum on this subject:
I would like photos of cats to accompany the words if possible (e.g. your cat). But this is not essential. You can write on any aspect of the topic that you like (e.g. entirely from a cat's viewpoint)
Halloween is a time when cats can be frightened so being able to communicate and comfort is useful. Tell us how you do it.
The prize will go to the best submission, judged by me, whether photos accompany the article or not.
In order for a prize to be awarded there has to be at least 25 articles submitted as the purpose of the competition is twofold. One, to increase awareness of the feelings of cats during Halloween and generally and secondly to promote submissions to this website's forum. All submissions will be published. One submission per person, please.
Each submission must be a minimum of 400 words. Remember to leave your email address on the submission form and I will contact the winner whose name will be published on this site.
Michael - webmaster Pictures of Cats.org