Look at this gorgeous creature.
The black cat.
Absolutely, one of the most beautiful of cats.
Sadly, also the most mis-understood.
Fears and superstitions surround it, even to this day. Associated with bad luck, witches and curses. Seeing one in some cultures is considered an evil omen. If a black cat crosses your path many believe that bad luck will befall them. However, certain cultures believe the opposite considering them lucky. Black cats tokens are given on wedding days and to new homeowners. The origin of these fears more than likely comes from the Middle Ages when these cats were considered the companions of witches. It was often thought that witches could change into cats to escape detection. So, the distrust of the black cat began.
This is a problem. In shelters black cats are the least adoptable cats, with white and lighter cats going to new homes first. The UK’s Royal Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals reports that about 70% of cats in their care are black or black and white cats. They are the most difficult to place with a family. This raises the question, why? Is it the hang over of superstitions and the dark imagery associated with witches? Is it because you can’t see black cats in the dark and they can scare you? Is it because they are creatures of the night? But confusingly alongside this many shelters and pet stores refuse to adopt black cats around Halloween concerned they may be used as Halloween props and then abandoned. Proof of this is the recent report in the The New York Post discussing some of the less pleasant events that happen around Halloween to black cats.