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Xaqtly's Halloween Story


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Xaqtly
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-10-08, 13:20

10/8/09
Halloween Story Exchange
Applenova
Disclaimer: This is a true story, it took place over Halloween of '97 or '98 I think.

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It was a sunny day in New Hampshire the day we brought Black Cat home to live with us. We found him through a friend of a friend who had a litter of kittens that needed homes, so we took one. He was disarmingly cute as a kitten, but even from a very young age I could tell there was something a little different about him.

We called him Black Cat, for no other reason than the lack of a more fitting name. He was an all black cat with short hair and yellow eyes, and he developed one of the most distinctive personalities I've ever seen in a cat. It's not that he was supremely affectionate, because he wasn't. He gave out affection sparingly, and then only towards people he knew. And then only for a limited period of time. If he was in the mood.

When he was done being affectionate, he gave you a warning in the form of a couple quick tail flicks. Woe betide you if you ignored that warning. Those who paid no heed were looking for bactine and a band-aid five seconds later. His seemingly mercurial changes in temper put a number of people off over the years, but I just saw it as the way he chose to communicate.

He was almost impossibly nonchalant, and was simply aloof towards everybody. This was a cat with no fear of anything. Not cars, not dogs, not people, not lawn mowers, nothing. He was self confident and bold, and he walked the earth like he owned it. Despite his world view, he was a benevolent ruler and had calm tolerance for a great many things.

After we moved to California with him, we decided one year to put on a real show for Halloween at our house. He was probably seven or eight years old at the time and had long since claimed our new house as his own. We lived in a neighborhood with a lot of kids, so we wanted to do something a bit more extravagant for Halloween that year knowing that we would get a lot of visitors. We planned and worked for a couple of months getting everything ready, and we were happy with the results.

We had a lot of people helping us, so we had people out front grouping kids up to bring them into the back one group at a time, with each group consisting of 10-15 kids. Once they reached the back, they saw our pool acting like the River Styx, complete with a broken down wooden raft and a deathly figure standing on it, fog machines blowing fog everywhere, and in the garage a mad scientist's lab complete with a mad scientist and Frankenstein's monster! I was the monster. At almost 6'3" I was probably the most able to intimidate a bunch of kids into wetting themselves.

We had glowing tubes everywhere and a real Jacob's Ladder in the background. Strobe lights and pre-recorded thunder acted as our lightning and the monster rose from the slab to give the wide-eyed children goodies. I actually scared a couple kids speechless, which was very satisfying. We performed this show for over two hours, with kids running home to get their parents and friends to bring them back to see it.

Black Cat could take care of himself like he always did, and he was free to wander around outside so I never gave him a second thought. Imagine my surprise when I learned from one of our friends what he had been doing while we were putting on the show in the back.

He had leapt up on top of the short courtyard wall in the front of our house, and placed himself on the corner where there was a flat platform. He was about four feet off the ground there, and it was right where the line was being formed. Every single person who lined up to see the show walked right past him, and he sat there as nonchalant as ever, presumably watching over his kingdom.

People were asking if he was real. They thought he was either a really life-like stuffed toy or maybe an animatronic model of some kind. I mean come on, a black cat? On Halloween? Sitting right there in front of the hundred-plus people that came to see our show, watching them as they stared back in disbelief when they noticed his yellow eyes were following them around?

The people who realized he wasn't fake also thought we must have trained him to do that.

"Nope," I said after getting a look at him myself. "He's just like that."

I wondered what possessed him to get up there like that. Was he just curious about all the people out there? Was he performing his duty as our liege, and making a public appearance? He certainly acted the part, the only thing missing was the Queen's Wave as people walked by. There was no way we could have planned that any more perfectly than how it happened.

Black Cat died last year, apparently from suffering a heart attack. He was about fourteen years old. The people who didn't know him that well and who he scratched over the years probably thought he was antisocial or hell-bent on turning people's hands into shredded beef, but that wasn't it at all. He loved people, why else would he stay with us? He had complete freedom to go wherever he wanted but he always came back to us. He just had his own personality, his own way of showing affection, and he had his limits as well. I learned to respect that early on, and we had a deep and solid relationship for his whole life.

After he was gone, something else was gone too. He was always there, in the background, in the shadows, ruling his lands with patience and wisdom. Whenever I was down, it was always Black Cat who emerged from his seat of power to mingle with the commoners and rub against my hand, giving me permission to pet him as he purred loudly at me. I miss that. But I'll never forget that Halloween when a genuine Black Cat came out to add that extra bit of magic to an already fantastic night.

-X

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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Cascadia
 
2009-10-09, 01:18

OMG what a great Halloween story! I love cats. And it's funny because we used to have a cat that just sort of "adopted" us, too. We didn't name it Black Cat (it wasn't black), but we named it...That Cat! What a coincidence! We called it T.C., for short, and it just sort of stuck. (Before T.C. I did have a black cat, who looked just like the one in your picture, but that was a looong time ago.)

Oh, and thank you for calling Frankenstein's monster the right thing. Ultimate pet peeve: When people call the monster "Frankenstein." No no no no no! (And I'm almost 6'3" too...I hope I'm not terrifying to kids, ha ha.)

And you broke 1,000 words, which I guess makes you our first "winner," ha ha. You made it look effortless. If I could give you an "awesome" badge, I would.

i won't let you hurt my planet / and i won't let you hurt my friends
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Xaqtly
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-10-09, 02:10

Thanks! That was my favorite Halloween ever. One of the details I left out was that as the monster, when I got up off the slab to give out candy, I had two buckets. One of them had candy in it, the other had this disgusting concoction made up of Jell-O and various things floating around in it.

So as I approached one of the kids (I tried to pick the most gullible looking ones), I would reach into the Jell-O bucket and pull out a handful of dripping green ooze to put in the kid's candy bag.

"No! Bad monster!" the scientist would yell as he ran over and whacked me with a small stick. I would roar like Chewy at him, then reach into the candy bucket and put that in the kids' bags instead.

You should have seen the faces of some of those kids as they saw me about to dump a handful of quivering green bile into their candy bag. Priceless.
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
awesome
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Cascadia
 
2009-10-09, 02:20



I love Halloween. Almost as much as New Years'...there's just something special about holidays on the 31st, I guess.

I mean, not every month has a 31st. So 31sts are already like bonus days. But Halloween and New Years' are like bonus holidays.

I don't really know where I'm going with that one. But, yeah, Halloween...

(After Brad's shiny-shoed Ghostbuster last year I have high expectations for 2009. Don't let me down, gang. )

i won't let you hurt my planet / and i won't let you hurt my friends
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Capella
Dark Cat of the Sith
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
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2009-10-09, 07:54

Awesome story Perfect Halloween feel. And I can't believe your cat was just that awesome. That is like perfect awesome distilled into feline form.
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Xaqtly
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-10-09, 13:25

Thanks, and yeah I was as surprised as anybody that he jumped up on the wall and just sat there looking at everybody. I mean people were easily close enough to touch him, and he just sat there like he knew it would be the best thing to do. And it was dark out there, so sometimes all people would see were the yellow eyes staring at them. Really just perfect.
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