Pet Tips

Black Cats – Pet tip 170

Black Cats – Pet tip 170

You are walking down the street and a black cat crosses your path. What do you do? Whether you dismiss it or not, many people think of it as some kind of a bad omen. Black cats and bad luck is a superstition that has lived on even in modern society. Past events, and present misconceptions of these cats keep this unfortunate stereotype alive.

Black is a colour that often brings an emotional response. What do you think of when you imagine this colour? Night, darkness, boring, no colour, dark, evil, scary are all common (and generally negative) words to describe black. This negative connotation of the colour black also applies to black cats. The portrait of the black cat as an omen of bad luck began with accusations of witchcraft and witch-hunts many years ago. It was believed that black cats had magical powers that allowed them to transform themselves into witches. Thus, if a person were to see a black cat they would fear something bad was going to befall them. This type of thinking though happened hundreds of years ago, why is this belief still widespread?

This fear of black cats has carried on throughout all these years because humans continue to perpetuate the stereotype. We as a society have continued to use the black cat as a symbol of black magic, bad luck, and fear. There are many examples, but we will touch on a few of them to better your understanding of what must be done to change the public’s view of black cats. Every year there is one holiday where we pass on the superstition about black cats to our offspring and this is Halloween. In present times this holiday is meant to be fun, and meant to give kids a chance to go door to door collecting free, yummy, sugary candy. Think for a moment about your Halloween decorations. Surely, many of you have black cats with their backs arched, hissing, and showing their teeth. Perhaps this cat is next to a witch, or maybe a full moon. Either way, in Halloween decorations, the black cat is always portrayed as a frightful beast. Secondly, myths and stories passed down generation-to-generation fuel the fire regarding black cats and their lack of luck. People tell stories about how they see a black cat one day and then they have an unfortunate event the next day. This is not to say the black cat was the cause, but since the superstition is so popular, people think back and try to relate the two events. Moreover, television shows and movies with supernatural content continually support the superstition. One example is the television show “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” Sabrina has a talking black cat named “Salem” that is a slick talker and always seems to cause unfortunate events to occur. It is therefore our own fault that this superstition has perpetuated for hundreds of years. It is time that we leave behind this habit of associating black cats with bad luck. It does not do us any good, and it is certainly not beneficial for black cats.

Even if you do not consciously think bad thoughts upon seeing a black cat, it leads to a general weariness or unconscious dislike for them. How else can we explain why the number of black cats adopted in animal shelters across North America is significantly lower than other coloured cats? The truly ironic part is that the only bad luck is for the black cat itself that has to live its life based on the label we have given it. This is why they often remain unnoticed and not adopted. The sad part is that potential black cat owners may be missing out. Colour is no indication of how great a pet cat can be. Oftentimes black cats are the ones with the most wonderful personalities and are extremely friendly. It’s time to break the stereotype.

By Laura Platt – writer

4 Responses to this Article, So Far

  1. Avatar Raven says:

    I have to agree. I currently have seven cats, two of which are black. The black ones are, in fact, the ones most likely to follow us around and they love to sing to us (They don’t so much meow, it’s more of a whirly chirping noise. Especially the kitten). There are even some shelters I’ve come across that will not adopt out black cats around Halloween because of the inherent fear of what people are going to do with them. It’s sad that so many potential lovely pets are passed up by people simply because they have black fur.

  2. Avatar Faye says:

    I have a black kitty!!
    I adopted him 2 weeks ago, and he’s the friendliest spunky little creature.
    He is full of love and constantly cuddles with me.
    He is already comfy in my house, and is friendly to people who come by and is not scared of noises like he was the first few days.
    He is AWESOME!!
    Just one problem, it’s so hard to find him if he’s hiding.. he blends in with any dark corner, the beady little eyes are the only give away of his hiding spot.
    Wouldn’t trade him for 1000 colorful cats!
    The sweetest creature i had the pleasure of owning!

  3. Avatar Sarah says:

    Our recently-adopted black cat is the most loving, sweet creature. Within two months, he has become a complete member of the family. He started out as a stray, who became our barn cat and showed his excellent hunting skills by keeping the barn pest-free. He was very sweet by shy and, because of the lack of “jewels” and the fact that we never examined him closely, we all thought he was a girl. He quickly overcame his shyness and became a wonderful companion – and I decided to bring him into the house, making him an indoor cat. It was then that the vet informed us that our “girl” was an already-neutered boy. It also turned out that he had broken ribs, at some point, because there were “knots” on the ribs on his left side. Poor baby may have been hit by a car – just one of the dangers faced by a feral, stray or “outdoor” cat. The biggest surprise, though, was when we discovered that our 14 lb black kitty showed his melanistic tabby markings when lying in the sun. A little more investigation revealed that what we had was a Bengal; a “left-over” from a breeder who had closed down a couple of years previously. He is now a strictly indoor cat, sleek, safe and healthy. Our boy is about two years old, by the vet’s estimation, and I don’t know what kind of life he had between the breeder closing up and him finding us, but I do know that he is a beautiful, elegant, wonderful, intelligent, loving, gentle companion that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

  4. Avatar Annabella says:

    I must admit I had a thing for red tabby cats until ‘Trent’ came into to my life. He’s about 8 – 10 years old and pure black with a few gray whiskers. He rusts a bit in the sun and his fur is super-soft. He doesn’t say much but he’s such a good companion that I’ve fallen in love with him!

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