BLACK LIVES MATTER:
(National) Black Cat Day
Folklore and superstitions surrounding the black cat has been around for centuries — many of them claiming that the cats are cursed. Depending on where you live in the world, some of these superstitions may favor the black cat, while in other locations, fear and loathing are brought forth when a black cat is around.
No matter what the reasons are … lack of color in the fur coats or the superstitions of people, it’s a ‘fact of the black cat’ that most feline owners prefer kittens and cats that are not solid black (or even mostly black). That is the ‘true curse’ of the black cat. As a way to raise awareness this issue of black cats being less adoptive, various Pet Awareness Days have been formed. Black cats have the lowest adoption rates and some of the highest euthanasia rates out of all furry felines. Remember, Black Lives Matter — adopt a black cat!
What Is (National) Black Cat Day?
As a way to raise awareness for this issue of black cats being not as likely to be adopted as other cats, two ‘holidays’ have been created to bring about support for these black felines. These unofficial holiday for pet parents, as well as for cat lovers who don’t own a kitty are: Black Cat Day (August 17) and National Black Cat Day (October 27). Black Cat Day is not known when to have been created, but National Black Cat Day was created by ‘Day Cats Protection’, an animal charity in the United Kingdom.
Many shelters and cat organizations around the world celebrate this holiday with contests, sales or other ways to promote and help overcome people’s superstitions of black cats. They hope to make people realize the fact that a black cat’s life (and it’s rights) to a loving home and caring family are as much theirs as the rights of any other colored cats. (National) Black Cat Day is a great opportunity for many soon-to-be pet parents to adopt a black kitten, whom would otherwise remain neglected, feared, or even abused.
How To Get Involved on (National) Black Cat Day
You can help the local shelters by adopting or spreading the word about how great black cats are. Use your social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) to spread the word of the plight of black cats to your friends, family ands others. Throughout the web are sites where black cat owners share their cat photos, stories, and comments related to this holiday. You too can take part of this in the social media trend on (National) Black Cat Day.
Don’t forget to celebrate this day with your own black fluffy friend. Spend quality time bonding with them. Get them a new toy (or play with empty boxes). Make sure they get some pawsome cat treats. Just make sure you spend time with them, and show them the only ‘curse’ they have is bringing out the best in you when they are around!
Interesting Black Cat Facts
(1) Ancient Egypt
The origin of the black cat and good luck (red cats on the other hand represented evil) is believed to have begun in Ancient Egypt with the sacred black cat Bastet (a goddess of Egypt who reigned in the Twenty-Second Dynasty and was an official deity of Egypt). Egyptians believed hosting a black cat would bring the favor of Bastet, the goddess of protection from contagious diseases, fertility, and motherhood. Egyptian women who wanted children would wear amulets of Bastet with her kittens.
(2) The Highlanders
It’s a Scottish belief that a strange black cat’s arrival to the home signifies prosperity.
(3) The Orient
- Japanese superstition says a black cat will bring a single woman many good suitors.
- The black Maneki Neko (luck cat or fortune cat charm) protect you from evil. The “beckoning cat” has its paw raised as if it’s waving in good fortune for its owners — that is why you may see one of these small statues in oriental restaurants or shops.
- A cafe in Himeji, Japan takes their love for black cats even a step further. This cafe is devoted entirely to black cats – people can play with, admire, and photograph the cats. However, they must respect the cats when they are sleeping, and may not pick them up at anytime. The café charges ¥1,000 per each hour (around $160 USD).
(4) United Kingsom
- In Britain, black cats are traditionally lucky for single women, and a woman with a black cat will have many suitors. Some polls have said that the highest percentage of female cat owners who were single but found love owned a black cat.
English superstition says that giving a bride a black cat on her wedding day will bring her good luck in her marriage.
It’s also thought that newlyweds with a black cat in their home will have a long, happy life together, and the black cat will ward off evil spirits. In much of the UK, the black of a cat is a lucky color.
(5) Nine Lives
- Science isn’t exactly sure why, but black cats typically live longer than cats of different colors. It’s believed they have stronger immunes systems.
- Without black cats, all other cats would only have oner life. The idea that cats have nine lives came from the legend of the cat Sidhe, a fairy who could change into a black cat nine times.
(6) Ship Mates
In ye olde times, English sailors had many ‘beliefs’ about black cats.
- All sailors wanted a matagot, a spirit under the form of an animal (frequently a black cat) in their home. This would ‘assure’ them of safe travels and to bring them some extra wealth.
- Many sailors believed that having a black cat on board their ship would bring them safely back home to port. Due to this superstitions, many raised the cost on black cats so much as to be unaffordable for seafarers.
All cats are descended from red or black cats, and white cats may be genetically black with an extra gene that masks their true fur color. So, any cat you choose, is more likely to be black than not to be partially black. You might as well help a black cat whose black gene is showing.
(8) Enchanting Eyes
Black cats get their gorgeous golden eyes from excessive melanin. Their eyes come in intoxicating green and enchanting blue too.
(9) The Fur
As they age, black cats can get gray hairs just like people. This allows them to achieve the refined, sexy, salt-and-pepper look. Their hair can also rust. When exposed to long periods of sunlight, the melanin can turn their fur a rusty brown.
(10) In the Money
13 Million. That’s how much money the richest cat in the world was left in a will. What color was the cat? Why black of course. The richest cat in the world is a black cat from Italy named Tommaso. His owner left him $13 million when she died, giving Tommaso a place in the Guinness world records.
(11) Lucky or Unlucky?
In North America, a black cat crossing your path is considered bad luck but a white cat is considered good luck. BUT there is also a legend that says that anyone who finds the perfect, pure white one lock of hair in an all-black cat and plucks it out without being scratched, will find great wealth and good luck in love.
(12) Adoption Will Have To Wait
If you’re wanting to give a black cat a forever home, you might have to wait until after Halloween is over. That’s for their own protection, though. For decades, many animal shelters have refused to adopt out black cats on or right before Halloween (or even the whole month of October) out of fear they will be tortured or sacrificed, or even just used as decoration then thrown out. There’s no evidence suggesting that people go out of their ways to do bad things to cats on Halloween. However, persistent rumors about cults and crazy people seeking to sacrifice black cats on the spooky holiday have been enough to make many animal shelters put a hold on adopting out these kittens. Often, just calling a shelter and specifically asking for a black cat during the week before Halloween is enough to raise the eyebrows of the people caring for these cats.
Black Lives Matter
We can see that throughout history black cats have actually brought about good luck. They do not bring bad luck. They are not cursed. They are just misunderstood. Keep this in mind the next time you are looking for a new feline member for your home. I, myself, was ‘cursed’ with Pinky (burnt Pink Panther) when I was 10 years old. She was an awesome black cat. Thanks for the great times (getting my mouth washed out with soap because of you;-) and memories (you saving Tom from the cat bully). Black Life DID Matter – here’s to you Pinky!