Dante the Guard Cat VS. Trick-or-Treaters
I have a large, dark gray, short-haired tabby named Dante, whom we've had since he was a 4 week old kitten--he's now 8. He was found outside all by himself and was probably a feral. He's always been a bit... odd, maybe because he was separated from his mother so early and was never properly socialized, though both Galileo and my family did try.
Dante is the biggest sweetheart when he feels comfortable: he gets excited and affectionate when my dad arrives home from work, he sits in your lap and rubs his face on you when he feels like cuddling, he sleeps on my parents' bed every night... but he's also rather insecure, so little things set him off. He's easily startled, sometimes gets over-stimulated and lashes out when petted, can be defensive when approached by the other cats, and he gets very territorial and aggressive when there are other animals outside, especially at night.
Other than the initial bout of "spring fever" when the weather starts to get better, my cats aren't bad around the door. There have been a few occasions when one has slipped out, but the boys (Galileo and Dante) are more interested in just being outside than evading recapture, so I don't typically go to great lengths to prevent my cats from following me to the door when someone knocks. Generally, I just stick my leg between the cat and the opening, and that's the end of it, so it never occured to me to be overly concerned about Halloween.
If I'm home on Halloween, as I was this past year, I usually shell out the candy. The section of street that we live on is between two busier residential streets that intersect a block west of us, and most of our neighbours keep their lights off on Halloween, so we don't get very many kids--20 is a good year. The kids that we do see tend to be quite young because, of course, the older kids don't want to waste time working a street with only 2 or 3 houses "open for business."
Halloween 2012: I had been answering the door to shouts of "Trick-or-treat!" as usual, the cats milling around behind me, largely unconcerned, but apprehensive enough about the groups of loud, strangely attired children that they were staying well away from the door. It was about 7:30, and we'd had 3 groups of kids ring the bell so far--the majority of these kids were between the ages of 6 and 10 and all were accompanied by multiple others. I had just put the candy bowl down and gone into the other room when the doorbell rang again. Getting up, I went to the door--the cats were doing their usual thing--grabbed the candy, and opened the door; another group of kids was there: 2 girls of about 10, a boy who looked to be 7 or 8, and a little blonde girl dressed in a fuzzy white bunny suit, who couldn't have been any older than 4. I offered the bowl, and each of the older kids took some candy, shouldered their goody bag, and ran off down the driveway to meet up with their parents. The little girl in the white rabbit costume was obviously quite shy and was left alone on the front step, cautiously picking her treats. So there I was standing in the doorway holding the bowl out when I felt Dante brush up against my leg. I didn't really think much of it or even bother glancing down at him, I just moved my leg in front of him; normally, that would have been the end of it.
By now the girl in the bunny suit had chosen her candy and was in the process of putting her fuzzy mittens back on, when I again felt Dante push against my leg, harder this time, like a headbutt. So, I glanced down--just in time to see a snarling grey blur fly past me through the open door; yowling, growling and hissing; hair raised; and running towards the little girl! Oh crap.
The little girl froze for about 2 seconds, staring wide-eyed at this big, dark, nightmare cat charging towards her that was making sounds like a pack of fighting hyenas, burst into tears and ran off down the driveway in terror screaming "the kitty's chasing me!"
I was, of course, absolutely horrified that my cat had just chased a little girl down to the bottom of our walkway, and all I could think was, Oh my God, I'm going to be directly responsible for this kid growing up to have some sort of cat complex! But--and this makes me a horrible person, I'm sure--I just couldn't stop laughing! It still makes me laugh, it was that funny! I only hope that the girl's parents didn't hear my insane cackling over the sound of their daughter's frightened sobs. When I told my mother about the incident she looked exasperated and said that Dante had run off a little cowboy the year previous!
My house is going to be known as the scariest house on the block, and I don't even have to decorate! Maybe next year I'll answer the door dressed as a witch--at least then I can pass my psycho, child hating cat off as a prop!
Last edited by dt8thd; 01-18-2013 at 05:36 PM.