Australia might have embraced Halloween with two lolly-grabbing hands but it has been remiss in ignoring another US favourite - National Black Cat Day.
I am unreliably informed by the internet that this occasion falls on October 27.
As it happens, our household recently invested in a black cat - or we had it smilingly presented to us on "a trial" - I forget which.
This was a dream come true for our 12-year-old who had pined sadly, when she remembered, at being denied a kitten of her very own. The two dogs, various fish, Indian ringnecks, chooks and a brief flirtation with a stick insect apparently did not count.
That same 12-year-old is now experiencing what comes close to the joys of parenthood for the first time.
Kittens are not really all they are cracked up to be.
One morning, on unpacking the plates, Mr Mistoffelees was found to be no longer so magical...
They bite, scratch, turn trays into steaming, stinking piles of poo and fly out from under sideboards to destroy your feet and the fringes of a 1920s costume you have been saving for a special occasion.
They run full pelt towards the door and the slavering dogs every time you try to exit the building, and perform daring and destructive feats on the expensive screen doors.
Then they tumble into a velvet, sleepy pile on your lap and purr - and are completely adorable.
I have hammered the risk-intensive environment we live in into our poor child's head. She sees sharp teeth, car tyres and rat bait in every corner and has turned into the worst of helicopter parents.
And she says she is permanently scarred by the tale of Mr Mistoffelees, a legendary figure in our family. Mr Mistoffelees was the pet of our cousins (the children of musical lovers) when we were kids. He had a habit of snoozing in the dishwasher.
One morning, on unpacking the plates, Mr Mistoffelees was found to be no longer so magical, and a whole new set of cutlery was required.
You can see how that might be an upsetting story for a new black cat owner.
Unlike a baby, the cat can be happily settled into an area separate from ourselves for the full night, and so we are at least fortified for what each new kitten-filled day will bring.
And we have a whole new system of blame for everything that goes wrong. A black cat is crossing our paths at least 600 times a day.
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