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posted: 10/28/2012 6:29 AM

Halloween can be a scary time for our felines

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  • Bumble, a 2-year-old, red and white tabby, loves attention.

    Bumble, a 2-year-old, red and white tabby, loves attention.
    Courtesy of the Buddy Foundation

  • Falafel, also a red and white tabby, is sweet and shy.

    Falafel, also a red and white tabby, is sweet and shy.
    Courtesy of the Buddy Foundation

  • Jeffrey loves other cats and people, too.

    Jeffrey loves other cats and people, too.
    Courtesy of the Buddy Foundation

By Mary Hayashi
The Buddy Beat

The season of ghosts and goblins has arrived. This is a fun time for those of us with small children who are still willing to dress in costume, as well as those who like to decorate our houses seasonally. Unfortunately, it is also a time of terror for our feline friends -- especially the black ones.

Halloween seems to be a time when youngsters and teens (without good adult role models to follow) let their frustrations out on cats and abuse them. Please, consider this an appeal to anyone who is a caretaker of an outside/inside feline to keep it indoors.

The Buddy Foundation has a strict policy of requiring our cats to be inside only. Even if you do not agree with our safety policy for felines, please have the common sense to keep your animal inside this trick-or-treat season.

Imagine the horror you would feel if your cat did not come home for several days, came home injured or never came home again. Imagine the waiting, the worry, the not knowing what occurred and the what if's?

You also need to be made keenly aware that dangers lurk daily year-round for our cats from obvious accidents and from people who just do not respect animal life the way we do.

Do not give pranksters the opportunity to harm a beloved pet. If you have been feeding a black feline all summer and have been contemplating the idea of providing a permanent home, the time to act is now. Just bring the cat inside and save a life.

Even if you are not caring for an outside feline, keep one out of harm's way if you encounter one. Offer your home as a safe haven. You will be saving one more cat from torment. Consider this plea a "catcall" for all outside felines to remain indoors during this unsafe time and for always.

Now that the outside cats are safe, we can focus closer to home for the safety of our inside felines this Halloween season.

The most obvious dangers are indoor decorations. Our feline friends seem to be able to reach the decorations regardless of where we place them due to their skillful jumping ability.

Anyone with a cat should avoid decorative strands of lights, spider weblike cotton and any twine-like material. These are just a few of the items that will pique our felines' interest and will most certainly cause you to make an emergency trip to the animal hospital after your animal ingests them.

Candy left unmonitored is another culprit by its very nature, plus the additional threat the wrapper or packaging can cause.

Our cats will always find what fascinates them. Candy and treats should be kept in a cabinet that closes securely until the tricksters arrive. If there is a lull in traffic at the door, secure the candy away again. Candy left on the counter or by a door that is opening and closing is an invitation to ingest a deadly treat.

Lastly, an unusual amount of noise, foot traffic and doorbell ringing will make any animal buddy anxious. Why not opt for safety first and place your pet in a spare room that does not have access to the main entryway. Your animal will be safe and hopefully will not become emotionally unhinged. Good luck and safe treating to all.


Bumble is a red and white patchy tabby boy who is 2 years young. He was found roaming the Northwest suburbs in search of a meal. His previous owners declawed him and abandoned him, leaving him defenseless. This sweet boy meows and gives immediate rubs when he is given attention. He craves constant attention.

Falafel is also a white with red tabby, a front-paw declaw just over 9 years old. Falafel lost his home after his owner suddenly developed allergies. Since Falafel had been adopted out from Buddy Foundation as a kitten, we honored our policy of accepting original Buddy felines back into our fold when they become unwanted by our adopting party. Poor Falafel. This sweet boy loves other cats but is shy because he does not understand why he was returned to us.

Our Jeffrey is a white with minimal black markings neutered boy. He loves other felines and people, too. This boy is a stunner with his aquamarine eyes that look right through you. Jeffrey also is a front-paw declaw.

Bowling For Buddy

The event will be from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, at Arlington Lanes, 3435 N. Kennicott, Arlington Heights. Tickets are $30 for adults in advance, $35 at the door; $15 for children 12 and younger. Your donation gives you two games and pizza lunch with salad, dessert and soda. Remember to get a pledge sheet that helps Buddy raise more money for the care of our animals and shelter.

• Contact The Buddy Foundation at (847) 290-5806; visit us at 65 W. Seegers Road, Arlington Heights; or online at