We all know the old wives' tale..."never let a black cat cross your path." But where did that come from? And why shouldn't we?
the origin of the bad luck curse
Black cats started to get the shaft in Europe during the middle ages. Most people were paranoid and hysterical about witches and witchcraft during that time. Poor old ladies (with cats, some of which were black), were accused of being witches, and their cats were guilty of witchcraft by association. People started to believe that the black cats were actually the witches who'd transformed themselves, and this notion fueled the Salem witch trials in America. Some believed that a witch could transform herself into a black cat nine times...which is thought to have been the origin of the "cats have nine lives" saying. Still today, black cats are heavily associated with Halloween and spooky goings-on. For many in Western culture, a black cat crossing paths with a human signifies misfortune and death.
Huffington Post recently broke down the bad news about black cats.
bad luck for black cats
• black cats have a very difficult time being adopted
• some shelters offer reduced adoption prices or free spaying and neutering for black cats to encourage adoption
• 13% of Americans are superstitious about a black cat crossing their path
• some organizations and shelters do not allow adoptions of black cats during the month of October for fear of animal cruelty
• a Nevada shelter put on an "Adopt Your Own Mini Panther" campaign to persuade people to adopt black cats, and all 18 black cats they had were adopted
• black cats have the lowest adoption rate and the highest euthanasia rate
black cat fun facts
• there are 22 breeds of cats that can have solid black coats
• the Bombay is the most common black cat breed, a breed also characterized by intelligence, playfulness, and tendency to interact and seek attention
• the percentage of male and female black cats is slightly skewed toward the male gender
• the high melanin pigment in black cats causes most of them to have yellow eyes
• in many other cultures, a black cat is thought to bring good fortune and prosperity
the good news
As awareness is raised about the black cat adoption situation, more and more people are coming to shelters specifically requesting a black cat. Since these animal lovers know the struggle black cats face, they are helping the cause. Pawsome!
We recently worked with one of our favorite black cat clients, Jacopo. If you take a look at this outtake from our time together, you'll see the smart, playful, gorgeous "mini panther" that he is.
Tell me about your black cat!