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Cats have been both feared and worshipped by different cultures throughout history, but the reasons behind this contradictory reverence are largely unknown. Chinese and Egyptian cultures held cats as sacred, while in India, early America, and parts of Europe have associated cats - and especially black cats - with witchcraft.
At one time, it was widely believed that cats were a vessel for the spirits of the dead, and on All Hallow's Eve, the veil between the living world and the dead was especially permeable. This led to several superstitions that placed cats in a position of fear and distrust during the season.
Where there's a witch, there's a black cat. Throughout literature, black cats have served as a witch's companion. The story goes that a witch can send her faithful companion to observe those who may do her harm, or, of course, to lure unsuspecting victims into her castle..
All of this imagery and superstition certainly appeals to some folks, but it has also caused a certain amount of danger for black cats during Halloween - some intentional, some not. Many families seek to adopt black cats from local shelters in the weeks leading up to Halloween, and may not take the time to consider the long-term care and responsibility associated with bringing home a new cat. This often leads to a rash of black cats returned to shelters in early November.
Even more nefarious characters adopt black cats to include in activities as innocuous as haunted house setups and as ominous as real-life sacrificial practices that may include the injury of the cat. For these reasons, many shelters have gone so far as to ban the adoption of black cats during the month of October. Unfortunately, this leads to the abduction of roaming or stray cats, as well.
Bring your outdoor cats - and all pets - inside during the Halloween season to help keep them safe.
Looking for more ways to protect your kitty? Consider investing in a cat insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance.1 Our cat insurance policies can provide the coverage and care your kitties deserve. Get your free quote today.
Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.
1Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.