A black cat crossed your path!
Bad luck, right? Well, as it turns out, these purring creatures are not a witch’s sidekick, like Thackery Binx from Hocus Pocus. They are just like any other ordinary cat but with a major target on their backs for something we have been trying to eradicate within us humans for centuries: their color.
Ironically, black cats are considered good luck in many cultures around the globe. We have all seen the Egyptian drawings of a black cat head on a woman’s body. In ancient Egypt’s religion, the daughter of the sun god was called Bastet, and she was known as a fierce home protector, slaying any snakes or vermin that dare enter her home, just like a cat. To give her proper representation in their drawings, Egyptians drew her with a black cat head. Any black cat within Egypt was then considered sacred and worshipped. Ancient Egypt is just one of many cultures that celebrated these cats instead of feared them.
So how did black cats get labeled as unlucky?
It all starts in the Salem Witch Trials. Black cats were seen as associated with sorcery, so they were as distrusted as every so-called witch. Somehow, this viewpoint was engraved in American culture. Ergo, when Halloween rolls around with witches on broomsticks, their loyal buddy, the black cat, follows. Black cats are everywhere as you roam down the Halloween decoration aisles at Walmart, but these creatures are more than just decoration; they are pets.
Animal shelters around the nation have begun to notice that cats and dogs that have black fur are less likely to be adopted than any other animal. Because of outdated superstitions in our culture, black animals are not trusted as much, at no fault of their own. This is called Black Dog Syndrome, and it has definitely become a problem for shelters. In fact, the black fur gene in cats in the most dominant, so there are more black cats than any other cat. Many shelters are crammed with these “unadoptable” black cats. Something’s got to give.
Because of the Halloween season, these cuddly creatures are in danger of irresponsible adopters. Many people are looking for a cool Halloween decoration, so they adopt a black cat. Once Nov. 1 comes and the Halloween vibes wear off, these adopters realize that their new pet is more responsibility than they planned to take on, so the cat ends up in the shelter again. Black cats are also subjected to abuse from Satan worshippers and extremist horror movie junkies during the Halloween season, not to mention the possibility of being harmed by trick-or-treater traffic.
Before you rush off to adopt a black furry friend, please consider all of the new responsibilities they bring.