Let’s get this out of the way first.
I know this doesn’t apply to my readers, but get the message out:
DON’T HURT ANY BLACK CATS THIS HALLOWEEN! IF YOU KNOW OF SOMEONE PLANNING SOMETHING NASTY, CALL THE POLICE!! THERE ARE NO SUCH THINGS AS CATS TURNING INTO WITCHES AND VICE VERSA. Cats can’t help the color of their fur, no more than people their skin.
Now that that’s over…
All Hallow’s Eve.
That magical time of the year that embraces too much candy, Midwest rain, and follow-up visits to the dentist. How can you not love a day like that?
According to http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween, Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death.
Okay, I see where the death part comes in. Cold weather, not much fire, working in the fields 18 hours a day — not a happy recipe for long life.
But then empty heads turned to black cats and witches and things they couldn’t explain. Black cats used to rule. They were held in high esteem in early Egyptian times, dating back as far as 3000 BC. I mean, who doesn’t know Bastet?
It wasn’t until the middle-ages in Europe that the black cat’s rock star status started to go downhill as they began to be associated with so-called witches. The hysteria of witches practicing black magic had just hit Europe and alley cats were often cared for and fed by the poor lonely old ladies (funny how some things never change) later accused of witchery.
So all this nonsense of sacrificing black cats and dark magic and hibbery jibbery came from the fear of cat ladies. Can you imagine? Imagination is one thing, nonsense is another.
I say let’s take this ghostly, spooky, totally Americanized holiday and bring it back to its ancient roots in Egypt. You don’t have to like cats to respect them. Worship you cat. At least let him sit and type with you on your laptop. Embrace the millennium in which you exist and embrace life. Get rid of the fear of the hokus pokus associated with this really delightful celebration of candy and pumpkin pie and the Monster Mash. And knock the nonsense out of anyone who says different.
They say the border between worlds is thinnest at Samhain. I’m going to go out and check the communication between worlds tomorrow night. Who knows? Maybe my mom will stop by. Or dad. Or my dog Rennie. Maybe I can catch up on the gossip from the other side. Who’s hanging with who. Who’s doing the Irish Jig on the table and who’s sleeping under it. Who’s got the best bonies in the neighborhood. Which cat is hangin’ with which dog.
There’s always a story somewhere. Whether you’re looking for it or not, it’s there, waiting for you. Find one this Halloween. Write it. Live it. Sing it.
Who knows — maybe your black cat will sing with you!