scaredy cat

November 5, 2010

in Mammals and Marsupials

Scaredy Cat   |   Mesmerising Moments

The whizz, pop, bang of fireworks clangs against cat-minds sending them skittering beneath the beds.

I don’t blame them. It’s noisy out there. Mist hangs in the air, flat-reflecting the lights dancing in the sky. Unnatural stars fleetingly brighten the dark night.

Two cats asleep. That’s good. One on a knee, not me, but purr-comfy and safe. The fourth remains hidden.

Laser beams dart straight to my heart. Make it stop, says she.

I can’t, says me, but I’ll lie right here until it’s clear and calm and quiet again.

This picture was taken during this Mesmerising Moment on a mobile phone camera.

Non-British readers may know about the celebration that has become Bonfire Night in the UK but not be fully aware of the origins. Historically called Guy Fawkes Night, November 5th marks the anniversary of the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605 to blow up the House of Lords. Wikipedia explains it in enough detail.

The proliferation of bigger fireworks available for backyard displays has had a profound effect on our pets and wildlife. When the cats were young they seemed unfazed by the whizz-pop-bangs, now they seek out the smallest, darkest place possible to feel safe.

I found it interesting to read in kindlinglily’s article on the Forest Schools website that groups of 3-4 year old children will instinctively build a shelter adapted to their climatic environment. Our animals will be doing the same tonight (and for most of the weekend) as the fireworks continue.

Spare a thought for them. Bring them indoors – make sure they feel safe and secure. Take their food and water bowls (litter trays too) closer to where they are. Pretty soon, your panicked pet may begin to feel the world isn’t actually falling in on their heads.

And don’t forget the wild animals. At this time of year they are going into hibernation and an ideal place could be under your bonfire. Check your bonfire before lighting it and only light it from one side – this will give any hedgehogs or other animals chance to get out before they burn along with your woodpile. Terry Nutkins has some great advice on the Guardian website.

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