Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Cat

"Hector the Halloween Cat" is a story I remember really well from my childhood. Does anyone else remember Hector? We once had one my mom had made with lots of glitter all over the mask.

After going back and re-reading the actual story this week, I realized that I remember the CAT fondly, but not the story.

Here is the story which officially accompanies the cat: see what your think.

Did you notice the tiny little drawing and the set of directions at the bottom of the story card? Hector is actually made out of four pieces of black posterboard (or, better, the newer black foamcore board if you can cut it) threaded onto a long (hotdog-shaped) balloon.

One sheet of posterboard is sufficient to make one Hector, with one piece of colored paper for the mask. Below are the four shapes you need to make: be sure and blow up your balloon and measure the diameter BEFORE you cut out the holes!

Here is a 50 year old schematic of how to assemble the cat.

Note that you actually have two options with the 'belly' piece. You can have the belly hang down or twist it upward so that Hector is arching his back.

As to the story, I think there is a play on the idea of being a 'scaredy cat' : is Hector fearsome or fearful? But I now rather dislike the scary part of Halloween and am not sure I'd want to teach little kids HOW to be more scary.

So maybe a better use of Hector would be to explain why people are wearing masks and help them be more comfortable with masks by taking off the scary mask to find the friendly cat beneath.

Hector also makes a great table centerpiece. Add a bowl of "catfood" - peanuts, candy corn, or M&Ms. You can also make really cute, individual Hectors by using balloon animal balloons: cut out much smaller body pieces - maybe just 4" x 8" - and only blow up the balloon a short way, leaving the tail long, maybe tying a ribbon on the tail.


heather said...

how long have we had that mask?

Rebecca Stay said...

Years. It replaces the set my mom made, which eventually tore.

gremhog said...

how clever! remind me of this next year.