The house was decorated like a scene from the Adams Family movie: dark, dreary and scary. Skulls, witches and spiders hung at the entryway while eerie, screams shouted, “Enter at your own risk!” every time the doorbell rang. It was the house on the block that no one visited, except on Halloween, when it turned into a magical paradise of Halloween decorations. Kids from all over the neighborhood would visit for a night of fright and candy. The owner of the home was Saul, an 80 year old widower, who rarely had visitors. He and his wife loved the holiday, so for him, Halloween was the one night he would still feel connected. He especially liked to see the smiles of the youngsters in their costumes.
A few days earlier a stray black cat appeared on the stoop of Mark, the boy who lived next door. Mark tried to get the cat home, posted flyers, notified the animal shelter, but had no luck in locating where the skinny cat came from. He thought it was funny that a black cat showed up during Halloween. It was as if a lightbulb went off when he came up with a plan for the cat. He hadn’t planned on trick-or- treating as he was 15 now and thought it was a bit lame, but he got into an old costume anyway to help with the details of the plan. Placing the kitty in his trusty old candy bag, he ran out the door and headed right towards the creepy house next door. Sneaking up to the front, he placed the bag on the door step, rang the bell, yelled trick- or- treat and ran. Saul opened the door expecting to give out the candy in his hands when he saw the scrawny kitty in the container. He smiled from ear to ear, picked up the cat and walked inside. Naming the cat, Halloween, Saul was never lonely again. And as for Mark, he decided that Halloween was pretty cool after-all.
Halloween is a wonderful, fun, family time but can be scary and dangerous for our community’s pets. You can protect your family pet by considering the following:
- Watch the treats. Candy can be very harmful to pets, even poisonous. Make sure your candy is out of reach from even the highest jumping cat or counter surfing dog.
- Be careful with costumes. Only put your pet in a costume if he likes it and is comfortable. Some costumes can be restrictive and can cause discomfort and danger.
- Watch the decorations and wires. Animals will eat wires and decorations that are easily accessible. If your pet ingests a foreign object, contact your vet ASAP.
- Keep pets away from the door. Every time your door opens to a goblin or a ghost, your pet can slip out the door without you even knowing it. Make sure your pet is kept inside, away from the front door and that you know where they are at all times.
- Instead of having your pet join you trick or treating, consider keeping your pet at home. Costumes, loud noises, door bells and new people can be stressors in a pet’s life and can cause them to behave differently. Also, not everyone appreciates a pet showing up at their door. Protect your pet and other trick-or-treaters by keeping your pet at home.
- Identification is key. As always, the best thing you can do for your pet is to ensure he is wearing identification and is microchipped. Make sure your contact information is current and you know where your local animal shelter is located in case your animal gets lost.
Looking for something to do with the kids on Halloween? Stop by the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA before you head out trick-or-treating for Howlin’ Halloween, a family event with crafts, games and fun! It’s from 2 pm to 5 pm, Tuesday Oct. 31 and is best suited for kids ages 6-14. Please leave your pets at home. For more information visit pasadenahumane.org.
Also, check out the shelter each Friday the 13th when every black cat is available for adoption for only $13.