One of my cats, Blackso, hates this time of year especially. Of course it's Hallowe'en tonight, but for us in the U.K., the kids are only warming up to the 'proper' bonfire/fireworks just five days from now - and there'll be occasional or frequent bangs right up until then when, for poor animals, it must seem that all hell has broken loose. He's right now cowering, terrified, under a large, easy-chair where I've put down a multi-folded large bath towel to give him something soft to lie on and draped old curtains down the sides to give him a sense of safety. I had to push him outside this afternoon because he'd been refusing to go out since yesterday evening. Just ten minutes later he was down at the front looking up at the window with eyes pleading to be let in. He's particularly frightened by the fireworks that whistle before exploding though it's odd that my other cat, Noodles, doesn't seen half as bothered.
When I was growing up Hallowe'en wasn't marked as a special day. It was only after I moved to Oxford in 1975 that on this date I had my first taste of the annual event when a young lad came knocking at my door and when I answered he kept saying what sounded like "Triggertree?". After repeating this mysterious word several times with a smile on his face, he saw that I hadn't a clue what he was going on about and he gave up with an "Aw, okay." and disappeared. When the next day I mentioned this in the office I was told what it meant.
That was then. Now, due entirely to American influence, it's all over the place - pumpkins, 'scary' costumes and, of course, fireworks. I'm not complaining. I'm sure if I was at a suitably young age I too would be participating. Just sorry that for poor animals it must be mental torture - even moreso because here, as I say, the two dates are so close together so that as far as fireworks are concerned it's a prolonged relentless period of bangs for successive evenings. At least after next weekend it ought to die down - but only for a couple of months until New Year when we have the influence from the continent taking over, which we also didn't have until some thirty years ago, and all it starts again!
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