It’s almost Halloween again. A happy day for children and a good reason to dress up in the craziest outfit, have a good party and to go trick or treating! But for black cats this day isn’t as happy as it’s supposed to be. During these days black-colored cats have a hard time. But why are cats associated with Halloween?
During Halloween the days get colder and shorter and the darkness, the ‘color’ of death, was returning back to Earth in the form of black cats. That’s why black cats are associated with Halloween. People called the Celtics believed ghosts of people who had done bad in their life were able to come back to Earth on the night of Halloween, when the curtain between the living and the dead was its thinnest. Ghosts would come back, using animals — cats.
Somehow all the myths and superstition come alive on the 31st of October. That is why a lot of shelters refuse to adopt black cats in October, afraid they will end up in rituals or used to scare people on Halloween.
In countries where Halloween is very popular and celebrated greatly, the black cat is the one who isn’t enjoying this party. They become popular during the days around Halloween and are often the victims of violence. That’s why it’s so important to keep your cats inside during Halloween.
Superstition about black cats started many, many years ago in medieval times when people thought cats were evil and had dark powers. To them a cat was the reincarnation of the devil, all because a cat is nocturnal. The Celtics also believed this, so they thought that if you would hurt a cat, you would hurt the devil too.
Cats were also seen as the cause for pests and other diseases during the medieval times. That’s the reason cats were tortured and buried alive to stop the problems. Not to mention the strange and cruel games that involved cats because people thought that witches were able to transform into cats. Many cats also died on the stake during the witch-hunting in the 14th and 17th centuries.
All this superstition means that black cats are having a hard time getting out of shelters. People are too scared to bring a black cat home, afraid it would bring bad luck, or the shelter staff is too scared something will happen to the cats. But sadly this doesn’t only happen to black cats, but also black dogs and bunnies.
Even if Halloween might not be celebrated widely in your neighborhood or country, it might be a good idea to keep your (black) cat inside during the holiday. Even here in Holland, Halloween is not celebrated but the SPCA was busy last year.
So spread the word, and keep your cat indoors on Halloween!