Halloween is a spooky time that’s celebrated by almost everyone around the world. It’s a time when people get to dress up as their favorite monsters, when kids go door-to-door to ask for some candies, and when everyone sits in a circle telling each other scary stories.
However, it isn’t always just fun and games during this pumpkin-filled holiday. For some, Halloween is a time when they’re viewed with negative connotations to their names. This is especially true for cats, which are often portrayed as familiars, bringers of bad omen, and more. But how exactly did cats get associated with Halloween in this manner? What exactly is the uncanny and unfortunate connection that binds Halloween and cats together?
Ancient Egyptians and Cats
Now, there are a lot of theories out there as to why cats are constantly being linked to Halloween. This one doesn’t really tie both of them together, but some say that it serves as a catalyst. Ancient Egyptians used to worship a goddess named Bastet, also called as Bast, who had a cat’s head. Bast was believed to have a nightly battle with the Serpent of Darkness (the sun’s arch-nemesis). It’s theorised that the ancient Egyptian’s association with cats may have been carried over to our current notions about Halloween and our feline friends.
Tales of Superstition
Another reason why cats are somewhat synonymous with Halloween is thanks to the stories passed down from generation to generation. Superstitions about cats (especially the black ones) have circulated for thousands of years. Going back to ancient Egypt, they were once revered and thought of as Gods, but in medieval Europe, they were labeled as diabolical, and that they brought bad luck.
Witches and Familiars
Even weirder are the stories that tie witches and cats together. Witches (Wiccans) celebrate Halloween to honor the time of the year where “the Earth goes back to sleep,” which they call Samhain. It’s the time where they commemorate those who have passed away, kind of like making it the pagan counterpart of All Soul’s Day. In Wiccan calendar, October 31st is also the midway point between the Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice (a time that signals the end of harvest and the beginning of winter), wherein practitioners dress up, eat Autumn-pertinent food with family and friends.
Things like dolls, needles, strange-looking cauldrons with green boiling liquids, and spell books aren’t really a thing. Black cats who happen to be familiars for witches, or in some versions wherein the witch morphs into a black cat, and casting out curses to everyone is also very much absent.
All this talk about cats and Halloween could’ve been easily chalked off as a fun, or even a cool way, to look at the holiday. Unfortunately, reports of animal abuse, reports of people avoiding cats in fear of getting bad luck, and a bunch of other things that misrepresent our feline companions have come up. Cats deserve to have a Halloween full of attention, love, and fun, not abuse and neglect. Let’s do our best to let them in on the festivity, and to make them feel happy.
As you may or may not know, there is a special haven for cats and cat lovers in Japan that lets you enjoy both felines and serenity. It almost sounds like heaven – blue skies, the lapping shores, a kazillion cats, and a peaceful life. This special place is called Aoshima, also best known as Cat Island for those who heard of it. If you dream to be surrounded by cats, then this place exists for you.
If you want to know why it’s called Cat Island, it has more cat residents than humans in the entire vicinity of the island. This fishing village only has a hundred residents and almost six times more cats lazing around the harbour and even on the rooftops. Expect them to welcome you as soon as you arrive by lazing on the wooden boards of the pier.
Before, this small fishing village rarely gets visitors, but as time passed and technology progressed, the word spreads like wildfire and eventually grabs attention worldwide and gets the love it deserves. This island now open its doors to cat lovers around the world and let them play with the healthy strays around them. While it may only be allowed for just a day trip, it is still a place you need to visit if you ever dreamed of petting an entire army of cats.
Before you get concerned about their living conditions, you should know that they are well taken care of by the residents, specifically the kind village nurse Atsuko Ogata. She makes sure that the cats are fed and taken care of. These cats may look like they dislike the affection and cuddles, but they demand your pats and kisses as well. If you happen to carry snacks with you, expect a pounce from them in a playful manner.
With just 15 people as permanent residents, these cats make streets feel less lonely and living there feel more like a bliss. There are no really strict rules during your visit, provided you be on your best behaviour and never harm any of the residents – cats and humans alike. Like your average cats, they love playing and getting affection from people.
While there is no clear declaration in terms of adopting a cat from the island, you can spend a day with them by playing, cuddling, or feeding them. They are used to people despite the small population of people they are used to. They can be extremely friendly and might even leap on your lap while you relax in parks and such. So if you ever find yourself in Japan, make sure you drop by this place and enjoy the company of these friendly felines!
Identifying whether a cat is in pain can be very tricky. After all, thousands of years of evolution have made them experts at masking pain. This is to protect them for would-be predators who would like to take advantage of their weakened state, and to attract (or fend off) potential mates.
The only time pain becomes noticeable in cats is when it’s become too excruciating. People usually notice it when it’s already too late, and you wouldn’t want that. To help you spot that your cat is in pain, we’ve prepared some tell-tale signs that could mean they’re in pain.
Difficulty in Moving
Cats that suddenly stop moving around, or hasn’t been playful that much, is to be considered a red flag. If they’re displaying trouble jumping, or lameness, then you should definitely have a vet check on them. Although it could simply be a minor injury, there’s also a possibility that the feline could be suffering from more than just that. Make sure they’re safe by consulting a vet, so they could be examined and diagnosed properly.
Declining Appetite and Activity
Is your cat spending more time hiding than playing and eating? Then this could mean that they are probably experiencing some kind of pain. Just like how humans lose appetite and tend to stay in bed when they’re sick, or experiencing discomfort, cats eat and play less too. You might notice that they tend to stay in places where they can remain hidden, or they tend to sleep more than usual.
No Longer Cleans Themselves
Our feline companions love to clean themselves, and most of them even do so after every meal. They like to lick their paws, clean their furs a bit, and lie down after. However, a total absence of grooming, or focused grooming of a specific area, is considered as a sign of pain. Observe your cat’s behavioural pattern, and if you see a change in this, then it’s best to consult a vet.
A Switch in Litter-Box Habits
Most of the time, cats are pretty consistent when it comes to their litter-box habits. A change in their routine about this can either mean two things: The litter-box needs to be changed, or they’re experiencing some kind of discomfort that forces them to change habits. For example, cats that are straining to urinate could possibly have an inflamed bladder, or a urinary tract obstruction.
Unusual Change in Mood or Behaviour Towards People
Anything out of the ordinary, in terms of mood or behaviour (especially towards people), should be discussed with a vet. Your cat could be experiencing something they can’t tell you, and their change in temperament is the only way for them to cry for help.
Don’t ignore these simple signs and shrug them off as nothing. Keep in mind that some of the most serious illnesses start out as minor ones that dangerously escalate to a life-threatening level. Notice these early signs of pain, and help your cat find a cure for it.
We constantly want to show everyone how much we love them. This is why we choose to buy gifts like chocolates, flowers, and other items. Sometimes, we send them a quick text message, or send them a chat, telling them to take care and that we love them. These are just some of the ways that we show our love for them, and that they are important to us.
However, our beloved feline companions do not speak our language. They are unable to make sense of the words that our voices utter. So, how do we show them that we love them? How do we express our deep appreciation and affection for them? Here’s how we can show love to our cats in a way that they’ll understand, and feel.
Train Your Cat
Although most people would say that cats are nearly impossible to train, this isn’t actually true. Many owners have trained their cats, teaching them how to perform simple commands and cool tricks. Spending some time and training your cat will help strengthen the bond that you have.
You should always provide your cat with a tasty cat treat, as a reward for a job done well. The rewards you give will help your cat rely on you, and see you as a provider. Someone who is always there to answer their needs, effectively turning the relationship to a mutual understanding full of love and care.
Head Bumps and Slow Blinks
Have you ever noticed how your cat bumps their unto your leg? Or how they slowly “blink,” or close their eyes while maintaining eye contact with you? If you didn’t already know, these gestures are actually their way of showing love.
Cats do head bumps in the wild to leave their scent and to mark territories, and family members, as theirs. If they do this to you, then that means you are considered a part of the ones they trust, and own. Slow blinking is a sign that they are totally comfortable being around you. So comfortable in fact, that they’re willing to close their eyes and allow themselves to be open for potential attacks.
Having a Cat Nap Together
The best way to show someone that you love them is by fully trusting them, despite the possibility of them hurting you. One of the highest forms of trust is by sleeping together, and leaving your most vulnerable state to their mercy. They could physically hurt you while you sleep, or break your trust by leaving you defenseless, yet you trust them not to do these things.
This is especially true for cats, who prefer to sleep in high places, away from would-be predators and attacks. But if they choose to snuggle up and sleep beside you, or on your lap, then this means they trust you in the highest sense of the word. Pay them back by reciprocating their trust, and allow yourself to drift off as well. Your cat will appreciate the fact that both of you trust each other, and are willing to be vulnerable together.
Despite the obstacles, we can still effectively show how much we love our cats. All you have to do is perform certain acts of service, change your body language, and share being vulnerable together. All of these factors will then help you build a better relationship with your cat, and finally be able to tell them “I love you,” in a way they’ll understand.
We are back, and we’re here to give you the continuation of part one! As you already know, there are a plethora of things that our beloved feline companions love to do. We’ve already mentioned 5 of them, and if you haven’t checked that one yet, we highly recommend that you do by clicking here.
We’ve already established that cats love to play with toys, regardless whether they’re the squishy, or electronic cat toys kind. They also like hunting, sleeping, scratching, basking in the sun, and being petted. But that’s not all that they love to do, and we’re here today to give you more.
Watching How the World Works
Have you ever noticed how cats seem to stand in front of windows, and longingly stare at the outside world? This is because they love to observe the world and how it works. They could be watching how different animals from outside move about, people, insects, or leaves being blown by the wind. It could also be due to their natural instincts drawing them outside. A sign that they’d want to go out there and explore the vast world with their paws.
Humans aren’t the only ones who love to eat because apparently, cats love it too! There are cats who eat, even though they’re not hungry, due to boredom. This is one of the reasons why some cats get dangerously obese. To prevent this, you can switch up their diets from time by introducing healthier treats to them. It would also help if you schedule the time that you feed them.
Climbing High Spots and Places
Cats are instinctively drawn to climb high spots and places. This innate desire doesn’t just happen to domesticated felines, but it is felt across the whole cat species, both small and large. To satisfy this urge, If you have a tree on your lawn, you can let them climb it under your supervision, to prevent them from getting into accidents. But if you live in an apartment, a multi-level perch will certainly help your cat(s) a lot.
It wouldn’t come as a surprise that cats love to play! Cats play with toys, other cats, with their humans, and other intriguing objects, regardless of how old they are. Play fighting, for example, is a great way for them to learn how to defend themselves. Playing also lets them practice their hunting skills as well. But keep in mind that although toys will help keep your cats entertained, spending time with them is still the best option.
A lot would of people would often say that cats are selfish and unattached to their owners, but it’s actually the opposite. Cats are more subtle about showing their love. Often times, it could be them snuggling, or even licking you at some instances. They also leave their scents by rubbing their heads and bottom, which is where their scent glands are located. If they do this to you, or to any other person they’re close with, this means they treat you as family and as their own property (like literally).
The list is now complete and now you know more about what cats love! As you can see, they love more than just the regular mice toys, or laser dots. They love physical activities, observing, showing affection, and family bonding.