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Trick-or-(Meow)-Treat

There are cobwebs in the doorway and my kitchen is infested with spiders. Rats run rampant along the baseboards and blood drips from a handprint on the wall. Poor housekeeping, you ask? Naw… its just Halloween.

Why are those eerie things acceptable even with the upcoming Spookiday? The answer for me is simple: The kids. They love it! And even though I’m not crazy about the idea of Creepy, they are, and the more disturbing the better.

I’ll admit, I struggle with gruesome. I was always the kid hiding under the bed during The Wizard of Oz reruns. It wasn’t just the witch that gave me nightmares, it was the tornado, too. Just the thought of that black funnel cloud twisting down and snatching up someone’s home made me quake to the bone. Yeah, I was a wimp. What really got me, though, was Toto. Never mind that he was an annoying, yappy little mutt that looked like he’d been bathed in greasy dishwater. He was a harmless creature, as were those defenseless little flying monkey-beasties. They didn’t deserve to be threatened and it broke my heart.

That being said, you can imagine how much I appreciate the Haunted-House-Chainsaw-Massacre-scene. Not really for me. Still… I’ll do anything to please the children. It’s the power of peer pressure under pressure. Ya, I get that children aren’t my peers, that’s not the point; point is I love to make the little munchkins happy. And if spiders, rats and all things creeping are their thing, who am I to disappoint them?

My dad must have felt the same way. Although I don’t remember him putting up Halloween decorations per se, I know he must have really cared about the lil’ goblins that came knocking on our door. He gave them the all-time best Halloween delicacy ever. A treat that kept on giving. Or was it a trick?

We lived in a neighborhood where we got hundreds of trick-or-treaters—a constant stream of them flowing from door to door. It was the perfect setup for my dad’s master plan on this night of enchantment. The magic was that six special children were chosen to have their dreams come true. Our kittens, carefully wrapped in a paper sack, were tucked into trick-or-treat bags only to be discovered later, when the source of their delight was untraceable. It was a noble act of unselfishness on the part of my dad. He knew most of those children would never get to experience the joy of being a pet-parent on their own. I’m pretty sure that was the most memorable Meowlloween ever for those six children, and I dare say, their parents.

I hope fifty years from now my grandchildren have fun, bewitching memories of Halloween. As I lovingly hang another strand of spider web, I wonder how I might contribute to that. My animals are all neutered, so puppies or kittens are out of the question.

Then my eyes fall on the rats running along the baseboard… Hmmmm