Updated 2019. When we first posted, it was before our book Black Cats Tell All was published. Some thought the #Blackcatlivesmatter stance was racially insensitive so we removed all mention of it in our crowdfunding.
At the time, one of the emerging cat advocates, Kitten Lady initially did not approve but when I did her a favor, she backpedaled but never championed my cause. She’s moved on to massive social media success. When fame happens, it changes people, they are protected and more difficult to reach. She no longer responds to DMs. Would it be in poor taste to print our private Instagram messages that paint a very different view from public perception? Yes, because we all know history is written by the winners. I’ve been a backseat observer, confidant and consultant with some of the biggest names in the pet world but a hint of betraying anything scandalous would be perceived as petty or worse. Anyway, who would believe me and who cares?
This is the crux for any disenfranchised, marginalized person or groups. It’s easy to be invisible but damned hard to rise up and speak out. Money and power gloss over, cover, disguise and are used to push self-serving agenda. It’s why those who can afford it pay 10K a month for a good publicist to spin new truths. The only thing I’ve learned in my many years of blogging is not to trust anything I read online. I’ve uncovered so much dirt, I could write an expose or juicy memoir but the thought of it makes me want to take a shower. If I sound jaded, I am. Disappointed and yet resigned to accept what is. Consider this a sneak confession about retiring from the cat world (at least as I’ve known for the past decade) but I digress.
The #Blackcatlivesmatter and #blackcatsmatter hashtag (which we never used or advocated) is huge on Instagram. The world is more divided than ever and it’s increasingly difficult to be politically correct. I can’t speak to what is correct for others but in my heart, I still believe prejudice is prejudice and see no issue posting a photo of a black cat to fight prejudice against black cat adoption. When Black Panther, the film came out, it indirectly helped our black cat adoption awareness cause.
I didn’t fully understand the concept of white privilege until last year. Perhaps I still don’t and no amount of brow-beating and shaming will help. We have enough toxic themes and reasons for self-loathing to last several lifetimes, and I’d like to focus on whatever is remotely useful. If I write long enough I’m liable to my foot in my mouth so I’ll let the rest of the old post speak for itself. I stand by every word, then and now.
February is Black History Month and #blacklivesmatter awareness continues because it matters. Prejudice of any kind matters and that includes black cats. Prejudice can stem from ignorance, fear but propagated from ingrained cultural beliefs. It’s why reviewing and reflecting on global history is valuable or we may be doomed to repeat it locally. Whether it’s about the barbaric past of slavery, mass murders, violations of human and animal rights, it’s important to examine how far we’ve evolved and expand our definition of humane.
In this week’s BuddhaWeekly, a prominent international group of cognitive neuroscientists and other experts made a strong declaration, endorsed by Stephen Hawking, affirming that all “nonhuman animals are sentient and feel emotions such as fear and happiness. That’s a huge step forward and maybe one day, all black cats will be seen in a new light. It’s another reason why I’m creating a book of positive stories about black cat lives. Scroll down for our news about it.
It’s hard to believe at late as 1817 in Ypres, Belgium live black cats were thrown from tower in an annual celebration dating back to the middle ages. Cats were associated with sorcery and witchcraft then and people enjoyed the brutality as entertainment. It’s heartening to know 200 years later, the same town throws a “Cats Festival” every three years when plush toy cats are thrown from the belfry during a symbolic ceremony. The next kitty fest and parade called Kattenstoet takes place on May 4, 2018 with a massive blow out celebration. Click on the link to see the videos. It’s the best example of reframing a negative into a positive.
Most Europeans have realized black cats are no different than any other color. That’s not the case in North America where in 2016, black cats are still the least favored color for adoption. The beautiful, sleek and smart house panthers continue to be mired in superstitions dating back to the Middle Ages. The witch hunt, sanctioned by the Roman Catholic church raged on for 300 years, killing millions innocent women and cats. With the cat population decimated, vermin with fleas carrying Y.pestis spread bubonic plague killing over 25 million Europeans. But hello, aren’t we in the 21st Century? Isn’t it time we put this old myth to rest?
The only way change comes is with awareness and then making different choices. Advocating for black cat awareness is our passion and we’re happy to report our anthology of postive black cat stories is quietly coming together with amazing contributors so far. It’s been a word-of-mouth process and we haven’t had to extend a formal call for submissions.
To be fair, we will do one within our cat writing community soon. If you’ve been thinking of submitting a story, get cracking. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, it’s the cat who is narrating and we all know how different they are. It’s been a delight to discover from reading early drafts what clever tricksters cats can be and funny unreliable narrators.
Look for a big announcement soon and we’re going to ask your help in selecting the title.