Tag Archives: Halloween

Black Cats are Enchanting!

Sharpietoo is looking for his forever home. Black cats are a very popular motif during the Halloween season, but in real life, black cats have a harder time finding a home.

During the Halloween season, black cats are so, so popular — or so you’d think since they are everywhere in decorations and designs. However, being part of the scary Halloween motif perhaps isn’t such a bonus for black cats because they have a harder time being adopted year-round than any other color. The same is true for dogs.

Sharpietoo, featured here in three photographs, (Isn’t he gorgeous?) doesn’t know he has that strike against him. He’s extremely friendly, and not only that, he does tricks. He was one of the easiest cats I’ve ever photographed at Wayside Waifs in Kansas City, Missouri. He would stand or sit with the wave of my hand. Sharpietoo has a short, shiny coat and a patch of white at his throat. He’s a sweet, muscular cat of about 12 pounds, sleek like a jaguar. He’ll find a way to fit on your lap.

Sharpietoo poses. Isn't he adorable!

Sharpietoo has another strike against him. He tested positive for FIV, a virus that weakens a cat’s immune system. This doesn’t need to be a problem, even though an FIV positive cat won’t be able to get rid of the virus. An FIV positive cat can lead a long, healthy life if he is kept indoors, fed a healthy diet and gets regular vet check-ups. FIV can be spread to other cats through bites and scratches, so an FIV positive cat should be an only cat or live with other FIV positive cats. FIV is a weak virus that doesn’t live outside the body. Only cats can get FIV, so dogs, other animals and people won’t be infected.

Sharpietoo’s Felineality type is Personal Assistant, which means that he likes people and wants to hang out. Felineality is a feline personality assessment. People can meet their feline match by taking their own assessment. Check out the “Meet Your Match” survey here.

Sharpietoo was found as a stray, and was originally named Sharpie when he arrived because of his dark inky color.  But wouldn’t you know, another cat in the shelter was already named Sharpie. What are the odds?

To learn more about Sharpietoo and other cats and kittens (and dogs and puppies) available for adoption, click on Wayside Waifs.  Wayside Waifs, a no-kill shelter, regularly has about 300 animals available for adoption and places more than 5,000 animals a year in forever homes.

Sharpietoo shows off his sleek Jaguar-like physique.

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Zombies or Ghouls?

All Hallow’s Eve.  Lost, we creep along a dark road toward a lighted porch. A chilly wind rushes past, dry leaves dancing in its wake.  We shiver.  Is it the cold?  Or is it fear?  A dog howls. We hear rustling in the brush. 

“Hurry!”  We almost reach the porch.  My foot is on the step.  The porch light begins to flicker.  Behind us, the rustling becomes shuffling and scratching.  I turn to see horrifying creatures descending upon us, staggering, groaning, screeching, grunting, howling and hungry.  “Let us in,” we bang on the door.

What are these monsters?  Zombies! We’re doomed.

Zombies have taken over the scary scene, devouring all of the other frightening creatures in the night.  Ghosts, vampires, witches?  Old news. There are even acting and make-up classes for zombies to get that just-dead look in the eyes and the right amount of blood dripping from the mouth. 

But what is a zombie?  Popular culture says it’s a flesh-eating re-animated dead person.  But the original flesh-eating creature is the ghoul, from the Arabic ghul, which means “to seize.”  A ghoul is an evil spirit or revived corpse that robs graves and feeds on human corpses.

Zombies traditionally weren’t cannibals.  Zombie refers to the “living dead” who were revived by sorcerers, according to folklore.  Others never died but had their souls stolen by evil magicians.  Zombies are docile, have glassy, empty eyes and lack will, memory or emotion.  They aren’t the flesh-thirsty demons of the movies.  A neurotoxin from a saltwater fish, called tetrodotoxin, can also induce a zombie-like state and may have led to some zombie stories.

Why are people so fascinated with zombies.?  Could it be that their vacant humanity can be more frightening than any alien monster?  The worst zombie (actually a ghoul) is someone you once loved who has now turned on you. Who can’t relate to that horror?  Scores of books and movies have been written and made on the subject. Last year, a nephew requested “The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection From the Living Dead” for Christmas.  You never know when a zombie might show up looking for more than a turkey leg.

To sort out the differences, history and legends, go to Zombies and Ghouls.

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