Last week I spoke about Cobb County’s Animal Shelter Adopt-A-Thon and now I would like to write about the plight of black cats in America’s shelters and rescue groups.
I admit when I was younger, I always wanted to adopt a black cat because I thought they were cool and different. I was blessed for over 17 years with my first black cat, Bogart. I never even thought about how black cats were the most difficult to adopt out of shelters and rescue groups especially since I knew that 99% of them have at least one white hair in them and also of those, the majority have at least one white patch of fur.
Basically it stinks to be a black cat in rescue groups as well as shelters across our great nation. People seem to just past them by. I adopted my cat Greta from a local rescue group and was told that she was with them for over one year before I adopted her. They took her out to all the adoption events and in all that time, only one person showed interest in her. I must tell you that she was rough when she first came to us. It had nothing to do with her being black. She had a tough upbringing in South Atlanta as a stray before being rescued. She needed to have someone to believe in her and I couldn’t imagine our family without her in it.
The folklore surrounding black cats varies from culture to culture. In Great Britain and in Ireland, black cats are a symbol of good luck. The Scottish believe that a strange black cat’s arrival to home signifies prosperity. Black cats are also considered good luck in Japan. However, in Western history, black cats have often been looked upon as a symbol of evil omens, specifically being suspected of being familiars of witches, and so most of western and southern Europe considers the black cat as a symbol of bad luck especially if one crosses paths with a person which is believed to be an omen of misfortune and death. Mike Ness from Social Distortion sums it up best in a song he wrote called Bad Luck. “Black cat done and crossed my path, no reason to run and hide.”
To promote the adoption of black cats, “National Black Cat Awareness Day” is held on August 17th.
It is a sad but true fact that overcrowded animal shelters will euthanize black cats first because it is so hard for them to find homes.
Not all news is grim, however, for the beloved black cats. Fishermen’s wives kept black cats while their husbands went away to sea believing that the black cats would prevent danger from occurring to their husbands. These black cats were treated like royalty and were considered so valuable that they were often stolen. In Australia and Britain where black is a protective color, black cats are thought to be lucky. In the English Midlands, a black cat as a wedding present is thought to bring good luck to the bride.
Many writers have written poems and stories about their cats. Anyone who has a black cat will testify to their ability to amaze, delight, and inspire us with their beauty and grace.
What is it about black cats and kittens that they’re usually the last to get adopted? It’s not many a cat that can successfully to pretend to be a black panther in miniature. This is the one color of cat that you can bet will be a ‘character’ cat. Quirky usually with exceptional temperaments black cats are without a doubt the dark horse at the personality stakes. It’s as if they have been purposely designed to appeal only to the non-superficial amongst us.
Still not convinced, here are a few more of the countless reasons why adopting a black cat is a wise choice. Holding a black cat is slimming. Black cats will match any decor. Black cats are like onyx, a beautiful gem. Love knows no color. The number one reason to adopt a black cat is they are the least likely to be adopted.
My husband Rob and I have three black cats. Greta, I spoke about before and we have Bentley who is a male cat. He is the biggest goof ball in the history of cats and we have Nicki who was rescued from Tenn. My life would not be the same if I did not have these lovable balls of fur with me. I can assure you, that there is nothing different about them from any other color cat. Next time you are thinking about adopting a cat, how about giving a black one a chance. You won't regret it.