By Brian Johnsrud
Creeping up closer than you think, in two days, is Oct. 31,
Halloween. This nighttime excitement of costumes, parties, and trick-or-treating is often a favorite pastime for many youths. But, this one night out of the year can have a more monotone effect on our feline friends.
On Halloween, not only are the streets packed with children striving to make a chocolate loot, but also with pranksters. Victimizing small animals, cats seem to be the main target for these murky practical jokers. Within the past few years, however, a rash of animal abuse has hurdled into a serious problem. The focus seems to be mainly on black cats.
A $500 reward is being offered for any information on a cat mutilation case in Phoenix. A volunteer for the local humane society was walking her dog on Oct. 20 when she found two black cats that had been dismembered and beheaded. With dozens of other cases like this one reported every year, anxious owners are keeping their kitties close by.
Because of this, many animal shelters across Texas are also banning adoptions of black cats until after Halloween, and also many shelters are refusing to adopt white cats out. James Bias of the Bexar County Humane Society said cats are used in cult rituals around Halloween.
I dont want to see any of my kitties adopted by people who want to do them harm, Bias said.
There is an alternative for overly observant owners. A feline-friendly web site is offering a virtual Halloween party. You can join other pet lovers in the acmepet.com chat room where users come in costume and other partygoers attempt to find out their secret identity with a number of hints.
During the party, you can also join in the conga line, the virtual YMCA dance and food fight. Later on, there will be a Halloween Pet Photo Costume Contest, where owners can enter their pets in the Halloween pet costume contest by logging on to acmepet.com and sending in pictures of their eerie animals all dressed up. The grand prize winner will receive an Olympus Cort D340R Digital Camera.