In Defence Of The Sensitive and Scared : A Plea Against Excessive Explosions

So, I used to love fireworks when I was a child, they were magical. Their gold and silver eruptions in the darkness, the green and red wheezy outpourings and fiery fountains, the wonderful after-smell, there was something special about those glittery firings into the darkness, it touched the imagination, the elemental.

But now, I hate them. As with everything nowadays it has to be bigger, bolder, louder. People just make so much noise now and don’t think about it. They no longer know how to tread lightly in the world. It’s not just Bonfire night anymore either, and the odd day around it, fireworks are going off so much earlier and for longer and for other religious occasions like Diwali. But also every small occasion deemed celebratory, now becomes an excuse for more and more fireworks that just go on and on. Enough.

Hardly anyone thinks of the damage they do. As they explode around the landscape they terrify the natural world. I hate noise too, but cannot begin to imagine what it must sound like to animals with so much more sensitive and subtle hearing and not understanding what it means, no wonder they are terrified. This causes devastation all around. Only this last week a horse had to be put to sleep after charging into a barbed wire fence in panic, spooked by fireworks. The birds flee in terror. Imagine all the lost and abandoned cats, quaking in the dark, with nowhere to go. Poe is out there, on the streets, I worry about him too. Already the lost cat/dog adverts pop up, ‘s/he ran away after being scared by fireworks.’

Even those that can’t run away have their lives tormented. I have mentioned Sylvia before, the rescued cat I care for. Sylvia is damaged and scarred by her experience of life, Sylvia has had enough of the outside world, she does not go out, she is happy to be safe inside, but every time fireworks start up, her nightmare begins again. It is so sad to witness, she is not scared, she is terrified and crawls out of the room on her belly; she crawls into the most hidden, darkest, most protected place she can find, and will not re-emerge until it is over, even then it takes her a long time to come anywhere near unwinding. Sometimes she just creeps in, crawling on the floor, eyes like saucers and I pick her up and she is rigid, I try to comfort her, but then more explosions erupt and she crawls out again, it’s heartbreaking. Sometimes I can’t even find her, she has dug herself so deep in dark, dusty hideaways.

It has already been so stressful with the amount of fireworks in the last week, more than ever before, and there is all this week to go, up to bonfire night and no doubt into next week. But then there will be Christmas, New Year, always some excuse. It’s endless. Endless and unnecessary.

If you’re having fireworks, please try to go for the visual ones, the sparkly coloured fiery dancers, rather than the monster bombs and exploding rockets. They are so much more magical anyway. Think about the effects all this noise has on other creatures. And refrain from fireworks for every, single occasion, there are other ways to celebrate and it’s other creatures’ world too.

I don’t know how Sylvia will survive the next week or so. I’m dreading it, it’s so stressful and there is nothing I can do. By the end of it she could have a total breakdown and I may well be joining her.


Sylvia having a cherished peaceful moment.


Add yours →

  1. I hate them too. I hate the terror they cause. I hate the noise. They are the representation of “Bombs bursting in the air” (The Star Spangled Banner, Independence Day). And, they are harmful to the environment.

  2. Our cat “Maple Sticks” is also like Sylvia. Sticks runs with her belly coasting along the floor upon the first bang, with saucer-eyes too. Interestingly she always chooses the same hiding spot each time: the bottom of a stairwell that is as far away from the outside as possible. Her sister “Nibbles” goes for the second safest spot: the top tread of the basement stairs.
    So let Sylvia know that she is in good company 🙂

    • I hate it too and it’s horrible when you see an animal terrified and you can do nothing to comfort them, you just have to wait for the racket to stop, it drives me crazy and it just seems like any excuse now and the fireworks come out!! I’m dreading Christmas and New year for that reason alone. Thanks for the links to the campaign, what a great idea!! I wish more people would take it up. I did read lately, somewhere was only doing ‘quiet’ fireworks, hopefully the idea spreads, it’s a start, though I know they’re bad for other reasons too. Thanks for reading and commenting!!

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