Black Cat Lives Matter

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.

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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?

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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 info@catwisdom101.com. 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.

 

58 thoughts on “Black Cat Lives Matter”

  1. I have an all black cat. Used to also have an orange one as well. They looked so hip together on Halloween! Never had a negative experience with anyone as far as the black one goes.

  2. It´s really weird that people think so bad of black cats in northern america. I was never aware of this until I adopted two cats last year and started to read all about them.
    Here in Germany we seem to have prejudices against black cats as well, but apparently not as serious as in northern america. This really makes me sad.
    In times where almost everyone has access to the internet and loves to watch cat videos on youtube, where lolcats became stars all over the world and even have their own language, one should think fur color does not matter.
    For my part, I adopted a black cat last summer. I always wanted a black cat, because I love the contrast from the bright eyes to the fur and their shiny coat.
    I also adopted his red brother for him to have a companion. I can´t see any difference between them, both are very loving, cute and awesome creatures that I love dearly and would never part with.
    But if there is any trouble, it´s always the red one who steals shopping bags, plunders the garbage bin, digs out the cat grass to spread it in the wholes living room or pushes things from shelves. No matter what fur color they have, or how many pranks they play, all cats are awesome!

  3. We love black cats. We had one a few years ago. When she died there were never any black kitties available where we looked, otherwise we would have another one now. We love all kitties, no matter the color.

  4. I’ve always been a black cat fan! I have two black cats named Panzer and Pagan Eddy.

    I can’t wait to read your book and see what other black cats have to say!

    Panzer, Pagan Eddy and Fiona ^..^

  5. Sounds like a wonderful and much needed project. I was actually mentioning to Dan the other day that there needed to be a good black cat book out there, so glad you hear there will be one soon!

    1. ugg… my fingers are tired from doing yard work since early this morning… please forgive the spelling errors – meant to say, so glad to know there will be a book out there soon!!

      Exhausted purrs from Deb…

      1. Sorry I missed it. I try so hard to keep up with everything cat related, but alas, there is never enough time in the day and it seems I’m late for many a party in the cat world! But I always have the best of intentions… Sigh…

  6. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for black cats. Currently my black cat is a tuxedo black and white. I’d love to submit a story and hope to receive more information about this projects. Trust me, I’m in! Lots of ‘cat’ stories to choose from in my files. Send me details.

  7. I have never lived with a black cat but have met so many many sweet ones at PAWS while volunteering. One recent cat, a beauty named Lucky, was just adopted after 2 years of waiting. While scrolling through Instagram, I found Lucky and his thrilled new family posting pictures of him! So exciting.
    I’m afraid I don’t have a story but if you need spare photographs, let me know.
    The book is a great idea.
    xxoo

  8. Wonderful, wonderful project and superbly written post.
    Ironically I was at Petco yesterday getting cat food and dog bones and I always stop to see the kitties that are available for adoption.
    There was a sweet black cat with the most beautiful gold eyes named “Betty” who was a real lover. She came and poked her nose by the window so I could pet her and rolled over to show me her belly.
    It killed me to leave. One of the employees there said another black cat was there last week and was adopted within 3 days.
    I am praying that the same happens with sweet Betty. Oh how I wished I could have (and afford) another pet

    1. Sounds like Betty liked you too 🙂 It’s easier to say yes than no to adoption. Being responsible like you means knowing your limits. That’s a good thing xoxo

  9. Love your project – LOVE IT! We’ve always thought black cats were simply gorgeous………sleek, shiny, mini-panthers…….never have understood the issue some people have with black cats. I know that they are often the ones left behind at adoption events and in shelters and it’s just plain SAD……….

    Hugs, Sammy and Mom Pam

  10. OMG. Live black cats thrown from towers in 1817 in Belgium. And so….well, odd and unfortunate that the beautiful sleek black cats are less favored in North America. Mao is very surprised, and so is Max, my SIL’s sleek 2-year-old tux. Yes, black cat lives matter. Thanks for this most-important post.

  11. I was by yesterday but didn’t leave a comment. I should have. I love black cats. Doesn’t matter what color they are, they are individuals with personality.

  12. You know we already do the “Black Cat Mambo”! We think that cats have been linked to superstitious things because of their very nature but because the black cat is so much harder to “see” we think that people believed that they “disappeared” and “reappaeared” at will. I know that sometimes I will be looking for one of my three black beauties and actually won’t see them at first. It can be a bit “spooky” when this happens.
    We just know that ALL CATS ARE AMAZING! The Black ones just take a little longer to “see”.
    We are so looking foward to the compilation of stories. We love to read what other regular “Joes” write.
    Luvs
    Skeeter and Izzy (black) and the Feral Gang (Shadow who is black) + Twig (Black) & Peanut & Romeo and the Angels (Weezy Two Toes who was black) >^..^^..^<~

    1. What is the black cat mambo? 🙂 That’s a good point about seeing them. All the stories will be polished and professionally edited so even the regular Joes will shine.

    2. The Black Cat Dance of Joy!!!!!
      The “regular Joe” comment meant that we love reading stories from regular everyday people like us that may have otherwise never shared their stories. We have NO doubt that the stories will be beautiful, meaningful and wonderful in every way! We are just so happy that you are doing this for the Black Cats everywhere!
      Luvs
      Skeeter and Izzy and the Feral Gang + Twig & Peanut & Romeo & the Angels >^..^^..^<~

  13. I’ve always had a fascination with black cats.
    They are delightful, just like a cat of any other colour.
    That shiny black coat,soft as velvet is hard to resist.
    My current black cat, Julie, was rescued from the great outdoors
    and she is a loving companion 🙂

  14. I’m almost 54 years old and all my life I’ve had black cats. As a child I just choose the kitten I fell in love with but as an adult while actively choosing black cats, I’ve always wondered that black cats weren’t more popular given that black in everything else humans “buy” is a very popular color. I don’t know a woman that doesn’t have at least one black handbag and a pair of black shoes. The Little Black Dress is iconic. So you’d think black cats would, or at least could, be marketed in a similair fashion. Something like “No LBD is complete without the the fur from holding a LBC”? Or maybe not. But, however we accomplish it , we’ve passed the time to embrace the fact that black lives matter, no matter how many legs they have. Thanks for all you do!

  15. I really don’t understand why there are people out there who believe black cats are bad lucK. The book of positive stories about black cats sounds fantastic. It’s gonna be wonderful!!

  16. I love black cats, although I don’t have one at the moment. There is nothing more gorgeous than sleek black fur glistening in the sun. Thank you for championing them, Layla!

  17. Last year I started using the hashtag #BlackCatsMatter cos they do. Black cats may be the hardest to adopt out but they’re the most surrendered. Oh, and maybe they should throw people dolls or people from that bell tower now plush cats. Those who will throw plush cats will throw live cats.

  18. My first ever cat was all black and his was names Max (or Maxie). He loved everyone he met and often used to go into their homes and snooze on a chair or if they were cat owners he would taste their cats food to see if it was good enough for him to eat! Sadly he died of cancer but I still think about him a lot as he was such a character.
    (Hannah & Lucy’s Mum) Sue

  19. I forgot,
    Is that a real watch that’s available to buy? I want one!!
    I could change off with my Save the Planet Snoopy watch!!

  20. Always have had at least 1 black cat!! I love them. Not only are black cats hard to adopt out, also Torties and Calico’s that don’t have a lot of white. I couldn’t believe it when I was told that! Hope that part isn’t all the country.

    1. Glad to hear it you’re a black cat lover. Actually all white cats are #2 after black cats.. Torties have a certain tortitude reputation but I’ve never heard that about calicos. They’re always female and quite rare. Must check it out.

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