Mancat Monday: Black Cat Week

Welcome to Black Cat Week where we’ll be celebrating all things Black Cat. As we creep closer to Halloween, pumpkins and spooky decorations are popping up along with the iconic black cat imagery. It’s hard to believe but not everyone thinks that black cats are beautiful or desirable or horrors, unlucky. Us Cat Wisdom 101 boys, Merlin, Odin and Domino can’t understand why.

black cat adoption

The truth is black cats in North America are the least favored color for adoption. 50% less. Why? For no logical reason. These sleek, smart house panthers are mired in superstitions dating back to the Middle Ages when all cats but especially black cats were wrongly associated with devil worship and witches’ familiars or assistants. The witch hunt, sanctioned by the Roman Catholic church triggered The Burning Times which raged on for 300 years, a holocaust of countless innocent women and cats. With the cat population decimated, vermin with fleas carrying Y.pestis spread and the bubonic plague killed over 25 million Europeans. In France, thousands of cats were burned alive in monthly sacrificial rituals until King Louis Xlll banned the practice. People had forgotten how  venerated cats were in ancient Epypt and how valuable their mousing skills were.

Since the Burning Times black cats have continued to flip flop in popularity. Sailors have always considered cats, especially black ones to be lucky. In many cultures, from Japan to the U.K. black cats are considered lucky but in the U.S. black cats have a mixed reputation. The likely source is a superstition dating back to the Salem in 1692 witch trials where “witches” accused of witchcraft. Sarah Phelps the seven-year-old daughter of one of the accused testified that her mother’s black cat talked to her.  These days we’d question her testimony of course but black cat superstitions are alive and well in 2014. How crazy is that? 

Hello, aren’t we in the 21st Century? Isn’t it time we put this old myth to rest? Black cats are just like other cats. Black cat lovers will say they are sweeter, smarter and more magical. They feel lucky having them around but  every year we trot out hags on brooms and scary looking cats for Halloween. The symbolic imagery is very powerful and it perpetuates the myths. I’d like to see more positive images like this vintage book cover.

vintage cat book Tuffy Good Luck

Black cat luck

Tell us how you feel about black cats and their superstitions. Did you ever believe them?

Only four more days left for Merlin’s birthday wish fund for shelter cats. Thanks so much to all those who contributed or shared.

28 thoughts on “Mancat Monday: Black Cat Week”

  1. I think I might have said before, but I am glad I have at least a bit of white on me, as mum has trouble seeing me in the dark! But we both agree that black cats are the best!! 🙂

  2. Most of my life we’ve had a cat and more often than not that cat has been all of mostly black. I don’t really recall anyone making a decision to stick with black cats but I know my mother found them extraordinarily beautiful, and i think her 4 children mostly agree.
    I apologize if I’ve told this story before but as a young child I recall the first time I realized adults could be dumb. We were waiting for the washing machine repairman to arrive as my mother need a working washer with 3 kids under 10. Finally 2 men arrived and as is normal with children we were all leading them to the laundry room, when, as was also to be expected our much loved black panther, Buckwheat ( named by my father) can to I vestigate the intruders, buckwheat was not a shy cat and considered himself very much in charge. Well, the repairman who seemed to be in charge literally RAN from the house with his assistant close behind him. I recall my stressed mother uttering a “bad” word, causing us to all gasp in mock terror and honest delight. Someone was in trouble and it wasn’t us. She left us on the front porch, in eye sight but out of ear shot, when she walk to their truck to find out what the issue was. After a bit she convinced the that the cat would remain locked in the upstairs bedroom while they did their work. We kids were then task with finding the cat. Of course, Buckwheat didn’t want to be found at that point but some treats eventually brought him out a d he was confined and proceeded to sing the songs of his people as loudly as a large, 20 pound Panther could, scaring the repairmen even more. We kids were allowed to watch television, with the volume up quite high, for the duration of their business in our house. My mother remarked later, in telling the story to my father, that getting them in the house was a lot of work but once they got started the work was completed in record time. That was my first experience in dealing with prejudice against any group due to their appearance and I think it help form my constant distate for those who would judge someone by the color of their skin, or fur, as the case may be.

    1. Please forgive my errors in my comment. I really should have proof read it before posting. I hope the mistakes don’t make it unintelligible.

  3. Heather has never thought any cat of any color was bad luck. Ellie Mae is proud to have at least one black cat in her ancestry. She sports a few black furs in her tail. Just enough to make her tail look like it is dusty. 🙂

  4. Three of my seven are black, and I’m proud and humbled that they have chosen me as their guardian=) Thank you for addressing the plight of the black kitty in our society….I too would love to see more positive imagery become mainstream in our modern culture. Purrs my friend. xoxo

  5. We adore cats, all cats, all colors, all sizes ,all shapes, all genders. We do think that black cats are in fact sexy, not Satanic!!!!
    As is the way with all superstitions they are hard to overcome and the Halloween thing is the worst. I actually saw a plastic 3 d cat skeleton in a store the other day. We as humans can be sooooooooooooooo STUPID!!!
    Luvs
    Skeeter and Izzy and the Feral Gang + Twig & Peanut & Romeo >^..^<

  6. We know that black cats are beautiful, sweet and lucky. Well, WE certainly feel lucky and blessed to have gotcha’d our two sweet house panthers, Gracie and Zoe. They bring us joy and happiness every single day.

  7. doodz…black cats rock…we noe it, ewe noe it, they know it….but when it comes ta peepulz…..

    faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    stooooooopid never goes outta style….

    R grate grate grate gram paw sam wuz pure black anda cooler & smarter cat ya couldna ask for…. ♥

  8. I’m sure they will bring good luck every day :o) Black cats are wonderful! I’ve read at Dezi&Lexie that a lot of shelters refuse to give black animals away around the halloween-time. I think that’s very wise and it makes me shiver that there are really people who misuse black pets…

  9. We’re big fans of black cats, and until we lost Talia, the head peep had at least one black cat her entire adult life. When the right cat comes along to add to our family, we hope it will be a black cat so we can carry on that tradition.

  10. I think black cats are gorgeous……all that silky, shiny fur and right in the middle of it all a pair of beautiful eyes (of ANY color!)…….their relatives, the beautiful panther always have fascinated me as well. It’s a shame that black cats are less adoptable for some weird reason that makes no sense!

    Hugs, Pam

  11. You are speaking to the choir here – we love black cats, and the only reason there isn’t one living here right now is it just worked out that way! BTW, my human had to cancel coming out to the summit, so she will miss you. 🙁

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