Why Are Black Cats Associated With Halloween?

First of all, Happy Halloween!! On this occasion, I wanted to talk about the fact that black cats suffer from discrimination and are more likely than others to be left at the shelters… How can some people make decisions based on nothing else but a colour?

Carved pumpkin + Black cat = Perfect Halloween picture

Black cats usually have a bad reputation

Based on Halloween superstitions, black cats have a pretty bad reputation… They’re accused of being:

  • Bad luck
  • Demonic animals given to elderly and solitary women by the devil himself (Dark Ages)
  • Witches that had been reincarnated
  • Familiar with witches and helping them with their evil deeds
  • A representation of black magic
  • A sign of death (a bit like black birds such as crows or ravens)
  • Satan himself (medieval myth)

Because of these old myths full of non-sense, abandoned or unwanted black cats are known to be very difficult to rehome. It seems to me they are the unlucky ones, rather than bringing bad luck to others! Oh, and if you see a black cat crossing your path… It just means this beautiful creature is going somewhere, nothing else. To me, superstitions are pure inventions that someone came up with some day and somehow many people started to actually “believe” in them. It’s less harmful when the superstition is positive though.

They are also associated with good luck

Thankfully, superstitions can go both ways and black cats also have positive associations – depending on the country. For example:

  • In Europe – Sailors would have a black cat on board to bring them good luck, and their wives would keep a black cat with them to influence their safe returns
  • In Egypt – They symbolise fertility and protection from disease (thanks to their resemblance to Bastet, the cat-headed Egyptian goddess)
  • In the UK – Owning a black cat brings you luck
  • In Japan – They help you finding love and frighten away demons, evil energy, and stalkers
  • In Scotland – It’s good luck to see a black cat on your doorstep

Why I decided to adopt a black cat

When I adopted my older cat (left), I was only a student so I couldn’t afford more than one cat. I had to separate him from his little sister who was all black… I’ve always regretted it a little, especially when he seemed bored and desperate for a companion. 13 years later, we made a move and adopted this little cutie (right) – I wanted a female black cat, like my cat’s sister I never adopted. Things happen for a reason, I know this one was meant to be with us!

They can’t talk but I’m pretty sure they thank us for this decision

Reasons to adopt a black cat

  • They look like a black panther but they are a lot easier to feed (and probably a lot less dangerous to have at home)
  • The colour of their fur makes the colour of they eyes stand out and it looks stunning
  • They are the least likely to be adopted but they will give you as much love as other cats
  • They naturally have a lot of charisma and charm
  • You don’t really need a lint brush to remove their hair from your clothes or furniture
  • They’re very photogenic
  • They know how to play hide and seek better than other cats
  • They clearly inspire people (look at all the superstitions they’ve generated!)
  • They don’t care about what colour your skin or your hair are
She definitely looks like good luck to me

If you’re not into cats or don’t want them, you can always have a black cat figurine facing North to bring you good luck, I swear it’s working! (no, not really).

Big Girl x

Halloween: Keep Your Pumpkin Seeds for Some Healthy Snacks!

halloween pumpkins

I’m avoiding sweets this year for Halloween… But I still want some treats though! People mainly buy pumpkins to carve them and sometimes we just forget we can also eat them. I’m not such a big fan of a pumpkin soup but I love their seeds as a snack and it’s actually pretty healthy! First I have to show you my beautiful Halloween pumpkin face:

jack-o-lantern halloween 2020

This time, instead of throwing away all of the goodness inside, keep the seeds and follow the below, step by step!

curving a pumpkin for halloween
  • Untangle the raw seeds from the pulp and stringy fibres
  • Rinse them in a colander
remove seeds from pumpkin
  • Dry them properly with a towel
  • Add olive oil, salt, black pepper, piri piri (or any spice you like)
  • Spread them evenly on a tray
pumpkin seeds on a tray
  • Roast them in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 180 °C
  • They’re ready when they’re turning a bit brown
roasted pumpkin seeds healthy snack

And voila, my very own roasted pumpkin seeds! It’s so easy to make, I can’t believe I’ve never done it before. And it’s delicious. You can easily tailor it the way you like, with a different oil and/or different seasonings. Personally I prefer it with some kick to it!

Note: 20g of salted roasted pumpkin seeds represents roughly 130 calories (I got 70g of seeds out of this pumpkin). This snack provides fibre and is an excellent source of zinc, you can store them for up to 2 weeks (I’ll definitely eat them all before though). Roast your own pumpkin seeds and come back to tell me how good it was! Did you have them on their own or in a salad?

Big Girl x

What Impact Can Horror Movies Have on You?

horror movies for halloween

Halloween is coming up!! I’ve always loved it because of all the treats, the fancy dress themed parties and all pumpkin style candles. But… I will try and avoid too many sweets this year (losing weight, remember) and I have no intention to dress up to go to a Halloween party either (thanks to COVID-related restrictions, etc) so all I have left is carving my own pumpkin and watching horror movies on TV.

I love horror movies, always have, even if most of them are really bad and the end always very predictable… Some people don’t enjoy horror movies though, it’s either you love it or you hate it. For those of us who love them, is it because we take it with sarcasm (“haha it’s not real, it’s just tomato sauce, not real blood”), because we like being scared (just for fun) or because of the adrenaline it generates? I did notice it affects the way I think sometimes, there is a fine line between “imagination” and “paranoia” or “anxiety”. So my question is: Do horror movies affect our mental health?

It could be a traumatic experience

I remember I was 17 when I went to see Halloween H20: 20 Years Later at the cinema with a couple of friends. For several days I was scared of my bathroom mirror, just in case someone suddenly appeared behind me. I’ve seen many horror movies but this one left its mark on me, probably because of the story line and the fact that the killer is a close relative to the main character (Jamie Lee Curtis). 10 years later, it’s the movie Mirrors who made me jump at the cinema. I found it hard to watch because of all the suspense that made the experience almost real. After this, I think I’ve only watched horror movies at home.

Horror movies can create or worsen anxiety

I find horror movies very similar to theme parks, where you can feel terrified but know you’re safe at the same time (even though I don’t enjoy rollercoasters as much as I used to when I was younger). I wouldn’t recommend horror movies if you’re already struggling to fall asleep, as it could keep you awake at night. Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep are directly linked to mood swings and the ability to process emotions… Which can lead to mental health issues. I doubt this could be good for people already suffering from anxiety either. Anxiety is caused by unwanted fears and intrusive thoughts, so best to stay away from this type of “entertainment”. Unless you want to face your fears and use the opportunity to endure unpleasant distress without it being dangerous… Sounds a bit extreme though.

But they can still be enjoyable

I think it’s worth saying all horror movies are not the same. Some are just gore and graphic, not so scary but there is blood literally everywhere. Some don’t necessarily involve a lot of dead bodies but play with your mind. The music plays a bit part in it too, I’ve seen my sister covering her ears but keep watching for example. It made me laugh at first but it makes complete sense when you think about it. The most enjoyable part for me is probably to buddy up with someone who also loves this movie genre and laugh about it. I wouldn’t watch them on my own, except maybe the Saw Saga that is one of my favourites. Set your own boundaries! Getting in the Halloween spirit is fun, but taking care of your mental health is far more important.

Do you like horror movies? If yes, what are your favourite ones?

Big Girl x