Well that's it. Hallowe'en is over and done with for another year. Time to put away the decorations. Scratch that. Time to put away the decoration.
That's right. Ol' Peepers, here, had but one Hallowe'en decoration up which is one more than she had last year so I guess she's on some kind of roll but she's not rolling very fast at all. Not rolling nearly as fast as a giant pumpkin would roll down a very steep hill but that, my friends, will have to be another blog post for another day.
Anyway, it's time to put away the peep's one decoration 'til next year and hope and pray she does a better job of decorating at Christmas. MOUSES!
And speaking of decorations and the lack thereof, the peep has very recently found out how much she really does need to do a better job if she wants any trick-or-treaters to visit in future years. And when I say recently found out, I mean exactly that. In fact, she found out less than an hour ago. Apparently, we had only a third of the trick-or-treaters some peeps had. Peeps right here in our own neighbourhood! Without good, well-lit decorations, they don't know to venture up the driveway, you see. MOUSES!
But back to tidying up and things. The decoration has to go in the garage and it's time to put away the costumes and stuff, too, although truth be told, the peeps didn't dress up for Hallowe'en. Therefore, at my house, there are no costumes to put away. I thought about dressing up, myself, but after realizing that would entail my wearing clothes, I thought better of that, for sure. MOUSES!
As for the leftover candy? Well... Well I'll let the peeps deal with that. I'm thinking they won't be putting it away 'til next year, though. They will be putting it away. Just not in safe keeping and not for another Hallowe'en as I happened to notice the peeps got stuff they like themselves, too.
But there definitely was leftover candy as like I said, Peep #1 totally failed on the well-lit decorating front. We only had seven kiddos visit us this year. One can never guess how many trick-or-treaters there will be. Sometimes a lot and sometimes hardly any. All depends upon the year and the lack of decorating, it seems.
But as I watched those seven trick-or-treaters last night - from a very safe distance, of course - I couldn't help but think about what I think about the most.
No, I was not thinking about nip. Okay, maybe I was thinking about nip just a bit. But that sort of goes without saying, you know? I mean, nip is always on my mind.
What's that? Was I thinking about treats? Well... Okay, you've got me again. I was thinking about treats, too, but who can blame me? After all, the few kids who did venture up the driveway were yelling trick-or-treat at the door. I mean, they were actually saying the word treat. How on earth could I not think about treats after hearing other people mention them? Not thinking about treats would be almost impossible to do.
But what I was thinking about the most was, of course, cats. Cats and this whole trick-or-treating idea.
Why is it that every year, kids dress up in costumes and go from door-to-door asking for candy and everyone thinks they're cute and adorable even when some of their costumes are actually quite scary and they ooh and they ahh and wish them all a Happy Hallowe'en but...
But when a starving kitty arrives on that very same doorstep, asking not for candy but rather, for a little food to fill his or her empty tummy...
Yes, my friends, I was thinking about that.
If homeless kitties were to dress up as ghosts and ghouls and princesses and superheroes, not to mention cartoon cats, would peeps pay more attention to them then? Would peeps then give them a dish of food to fill their empty tummies? Or make a warm shelter to protect them from the wind and the rain? And the snow and the cold? Or even better, would they invite them inside, offering those kitties a forever home of their very own?
Is a costume what it takes?
Speaking as a cat, I would certainly never begrudge a child some trick-or-treating fun on Hallowe'en. So why do some peeps begrudge a starving kitty the food and shelter they need to survive? Is there something wrong with these peeps?
I say, if a peep can buy candy for the trick-or-treaters, they can buy food for the homeless kitties of the world out there who are in need. MOUSES!
I suspect that part of the issue is that Hallowe'en fun is exactly that. It's fun. It's a time when peeps can enjoy dressing up in scary costumes or remembering what it was like when they were little tykes, themselves, going door-to-door. I suppose that thinking about the fact there may be starving kitties in one's neighbourhood isn't exactly fun, if you know what I mean.
But consider this. If thinking about how there might be hungry neighbourhood kitties isn't something you enjoy, imagine how miserable it must be to not only be thinking about it but to be one of those starving kitties, yourself. To not know where your next meal is coming from. To not know if you'll even find a next meal at all.
There are feral, abandoned and lost cats in everyone's neighbourhood. In yours and in mine, too. Sometimes we don't see them. Sometimes we do.
My gosh, I was once one of those lost kitties, myself. All the members of my fur-family were, too.
As responsible citizens, both human and feline, it is our duty to keep a watchful eye out for kitties in need. To identify those cats who don't have homes. To notice when a visiting kitty needs food or shelter or both.
With Hallowe'en now gone, winter will be approaching. In some places, winter may already be here.
Feral kitties living outdoors need shelter from the cold. Really effective shelters can be constructed fairly cheaply and with readily accessible materials. I won't pretend to be a master shelter builder or anything like that and believe-you-me, my peeps aren't either. But over at Alley Cat Allies, there are peeps who know exactly how to make a protective shelter. They even have what they call a Shelter Gallery where you can find out all sorts of useful information.
Can you imagine if you were a feral kitty without a colony, living all by yourself, out in the cold? How lonely and scared you would feel?
And can you imagine how wonderful it would be if you were to find a warm, safe shelter? Can you imagine? It would feel too good to be true.
All cats living outdoors need a helping paw, now and then, when it comes to food, too. Some kitties will keep their distance but that doesn't mean they're not hungry. They're just so very scared, you see. If a cat shows up on your doorstep, please help that kitty out for he or she is most likely hungry and in need.
And, of course, abandoned and lost kitties would love to have a forever home of their very own. A home where they are loved and cared for. A home where they have a family and are family, too.
The worst day of my life was the day I found myself lost. Lost, cold and oh-so-very hungry, not knowing where I could take shelter. Not knowing where I could find anything to eat. Not knowing if I would ever eat again.
Details are sketchy as to how I ended up at the peeps' door. They joke that I must have followed the signs but truth be told, I'm not really sure how I found them at all. All I know is that I was scared and alone.
But that was when my luck turned right around for finding the peeps really was the luckiest day of my life. They gave me food and water and when they realized I was in need of a forever home, they brought me inside, giving me that, too.
Of course, not every cat is as lucky as I. Not every cat is able to find his or her forever home. So many lost and abandoned cats are lucky just to find their next meal.
So please... PLEASE... Please think about how willing you were to give the cute little trick-or-treaters their candy last night when they asked. Think about that. Then think about the kitties of this world who need a meal to fill their empty tummies and realize that if we can provide candy for trick-or-treaters, we can provide needed meals for kitties, too. Please keep watch for cats who might be homeless. Identify if they're lost, abandoned or feral and find a way to help them in their time of need.
Lending a helping paw is our duty as responsible citizens, you see.