Posted tagged ‘pet safety’

Bad Rap

October 30, 2019

October is always a good time to talk about cats. Maybe, because of their association with Halloween and the superstitions that go along with it, cats through the ages have gotten a bad rap. From the Middle Ages, when they were persecuted and often killed, to modern times when many false notions still exist, cats have had a bad reputation. Especially black cats. Here are some of the incredulous beliefs that have plagued them.

Because of their color, black cats are a sign of death and bad luck, much like ravens and crows.

If a black cat walks toward you, it brings good luck. If it walks away, it takes the luck with them.

If a cat jumps over a grave, the deceased will rise as a vampire.

Possessing a black cat is good luck, coming across one accidentally is bad.

In Indonesia, pouring water on a cat will make it rain (because the cat takes revenge).

If a cat sleeps with all four paws tucked it, bad weather is on the way.

Dreaming of cats means bad luck.

A cat sneezing means money is coming your way. In reality, it might mean your cat is sick, as we discovered this past summer.

Finding any white fur on a black cat means good luck, which probably stems from the belief that if any white fur was found on a black cat thought to belong to a witch, it would be spared.

On the other hand, in Japan, black cats are a symbol of prosperity, and a woman with a cat is thought to attract more suitors.

British sailors thought cats brought good luck and wanted one on their ship to catch the mice.

In Ireland, a black cat on the porch meant good luck.

In ancient Egypt, cats were considered divine and thought to have gods dwelling within them. They were often mummified along with their owners when they died.

In view of all this craziness is it any wonder that mass killings of cats spread across Europe? In an effort to eradicate the bad omens cats were thought to represent, they were destroyed, and as a result, the population of rats with the fleas that carried the Plague exploded. And we all know where that led.

Perhaps this is why even today cats are often considered aloof, not affectionate, and even expendable. Black cats especially still have a stigma, but these notions couldn’t be further from the truth. As the owner of a black cat, I will testify he likes nothing better than to spend his time napping on a lap or simply sitting in a window. He’s never had an evil intention in his life, although he does love to knock things off the table. As for cats not being affectionate, I guess our two never heard about that, because they are as friendly and people-oriented as the dogs. Maybe even more so! Knowing cats can be such great companions, it’s hard to realize shelters everywhere are so full of cats. One shelter in Indiana recently reported having 500 cats in residence. 500! How sad they are still allowed to overpopulate when there are so few forever homes. Spay and neuter is the only solution.

On Halloween, please be aware of your pets’ safety and keep them inside or at least enclosed somewhere. Not everyone has their best interests in mind, and allowing them to roam free is asking for trouble. The true evil lies with someone who might abuse them. Don’t let your pet become a victim.

 

Zombie

 

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

 

 

Is There a Cat in Your Christmas Tree?

December 22, 2014

Cats and Christmas trees—they just sort of go together…or not. I’ve had cats that liked to sit beneath the tree and just meditate, others who stole ornaments and batted them playfully around the floor, and one who liked to climb the tree. Two of the cats I have now are climbers. They will climb and leap and sit on the highest perch possible in the house. If they lived outside, I’m sure they’d find their way to sitting on the roof. In the interest of keeping my sanity and avoiding constant chaos, I’ve decided it’s not worth it to put up a large tree and try to keep them out of it. So a smaller tree with its own fiber optic lights is my way to go right now. Yet still there is a fascination with anything new, and I’m sure before the holidays are over the tree will be toppled at least once. They’ve already tried to chew on it and taken a few naps underneath it. My hope is that the newness wears off sooner than later.
A few reminders to keep in mind for your pets’ safety at this time of year: things like tinsel, poinsettias, holly and mistletoe, if ingested by your pets, can cause intestinal distress and send you on an unplanned visit to the vet. Rich foods and candy can also cause problems and are better kept away from pets. Having gone through a few attacks of pancreatitis with Foo Foo, we’ve learned that even if they look cute begging for people food, it’s not a good idea for pets to eat what we’re eating. I know it’s true that some dogs seem to have cast iron stomachs and can and will eat anything, but in your own best interests avoid giving in to the begging and stick with what you know won’t upset them. A dog with pancreatitis is not a pretty sight.
During the holidays, while people are coming and going more often, doors are sometimes left open, inviting pets to escape. To prevent this from happening, think about putting them in a separate room during gatherings and parties so they don’t have the chance to follow someone else home, or worse yet wander off. For the sake of your pet and drivers on the road, please don’t allow them to wander outside unsupervised, especially at night. Recently, we narrowly missed hitting a dog when he crossed the road in front of us. It was dusk, and he was very hard to see. I hope he just happened to get out that night and isn’t routinely allowed to run loose; but if that is the case I wish the owner would at the very least put a reflective collar on him so drivers can see him and hopefully avoid a tragedy. If you do allow your pets to wander and they are the victims of an accident, please don’t automatically blame the driver. Chances are it couldn’t be avoided and they feel very bad about it. The safety of our pets ultimately resides with us, and keeping them out of harm’s way is an important part of pet ownership.
A Merry and safe Christmas to all, and may the New Year bring good things to you and your furry friends.