The Italian Association for Animal and Environment Protection (AIDAA) will be on patrol on Halloween, 31 October, to protect the country’s black cats from being sacrificed by pseudo-Satanic groups.
The leading animal-welfare group claims that each year several thousand black cats are at risk of being killed on Halloween night in black-magic rituals. Newspaper ‘Quotidiano.net’ reports that this year the AIDAA operations centre is in Turin because Piedmont is one of the areas where black cats are most at risk of ritual sacrifice. Volunteers will patrol all the areas where Satanic rituals have been held over the past several years.
AIDAA president Lorenzo Croce told the paper that the problem is less severe than in previous years but that the association has had several signals in recent months in Piedmont, Tuscany and Lombardy that made it decide to resume patrols on Halloween night. He said it is possible that, as in recent years, there will be no major problems but it is always better to patrol at-risk areas and find nothing than risk the death of just one cat because of the lack of monitoring.
Black cats have been associated with witchcraft since the Middle Ages and some superstitious Italians believe it is unlucky if a black cat crosses their path. Each year Italy holds the Festa del Gatto Nero (Black Cat Day) on 17 November. Italians consider the number 17 to be unlucky. Italian animal-welfare groups will mark Gatto Nero 2012 by holding exhibitions and conferences aimed at combating superstition and celebrating black felines.