It’s mid-August, summer is fading fast, too soon the world will be cold and dark, the trees will give us a glorious display of fall colors before the world slips back to being barren and grey. But before summer draws to a close animal lovers everywhere should take a moment to appreciate the oft’ maligned and misunderstood black cat.
Autumn is a dangerous time for cats, and black one’s in particular. Many superstitions still effect the adoptability of black cats, something I learned about while volunteering for our local animal shelter. There, black cats would not be permitted out as October drew to a close and Halloween loomed, too often there are reports of murdered felines following the nights festivities. On the home front, we would keep our black cats, Pandora and Fiddlesticks, on “house arrest” till the day and night had ended.
There are many myths surrounding cats, and since they’ve been sharing our homes with us for some 12,000 years, it stands to reason we would take their natural aloofness and general “other-worldness” as a sign of the mystical. Around the world there are tales of felines both mysterious and benign; from the Japanese Maneki-neko, to Egypt’s Bastet, Islam’s Muezza (the cutest story of not wanting to disturb a sleeping cat), or Cat Sìth of Celtic folklore. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that feline persecution and association with the devil began to take it’s toll on the cat population, and black cat’s in particular.
The stigma is fading however, as cat lovers everywhere advocate for the fair treatment of all kittehs and cattos. So, In honor of our sable companions, and in memory of Fiddlesticks the Wonder Boy, I present to you…
After the cut are links to resources surrounding black cats, if there is room in your home for a feline friend, please consider choosing a Raven or Midnight instead of a Snowball or Goldy. Too often black cats are left to languish for months (even years) in no-kill shelters, or euthanized once their term is up in county and city shelters. So, if you’re able, please welcome one into your home, and if one crosses your path, don’t worry, it’s most likely on it’s way to more important things then effecting anyone’s luck.