(A) Black (Cat) Is Beautiful

Humans aren’t the only creatures impaled by the cruelty of stereotypes.

black cat in shelter cageAccording to a September 23, 2011, article in the Sun-Times Media, black shelter cats are paying the price for myths and superstitions that surround them. In shelters and humane societies across the country, they go unnoticed by potential adopters. Jane Donahue writes that though some prefer more colorful cats, many believe that black cats are harbingers of bad luck.

Folk tales about black cats span centuries and cultures.

Illustration of black catThe black cat as evil has its origins in ancient Babylonian and Hebrew mythology, which often portrayed them coiled up like another symbol of evil, the serpent.

In some cultures, the black cat was believed to be a familiar of witches, and in other cultures witches were believed to have the ability to shape-shift into cats and back nine times; hence the belief in nine lives of a cat. Black cats, alongside their  “witch owners,” were also burned at the stake during  the 17th century witch hunts.

Black cat resting on cushion in chairThe Celtics believed black cats were reincarnated beings capable of divining the future.

During the Middle Ages, Germans believed that black cats were omens of death if they jumped on the bed of the sick.

The Normans thought that if a black cat crossed your path in the moonlight, your fate was to die in an epidemic.

Black cat stretching onrugThe Chinese believed that black cats foretold poverty and sickness.

In Finland, black cats were thought to transport dead souls to the next world.

In India, a black cat was thrown into a furnace to guarantee the liberation of a reincarnated soul.

Black cat wearing jeweled necklace with a welcome sign belowPositively speaking, though, the black cat is a sign of good luck if it crosses your path, as far as Brits and Scots are concerned. And some myths say that dreaming of a black cat will bring good luck, possibly even prosperity if the cat ends up on your front porch.

2 black cats looking up at cameraUnfortunately, superstition and folklore continue to feed irrational fears, especially around Halloween. So, let’s overcome ignorance and fear and give black cats their equal right to be adopted and loved because, after all, black is beautiful, too.

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About Amirh

Ever-evolving spirit moving about via body. I'm a writer and a an ever-evolving spirit in service of animals through my blog and Buddhist and Reiki practices. My blogs: AllCreaturesLargeAndSmall.wordpress.com. and AmirhBahati.wordpress.com. For more about me: http://amirhbahati.wordpress.com/about/
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8 Responses to (A) Black (Cat) Is Beautiful

  1. Corvi says:

    My black cat is a sweetheart. I’m definitely LUCKY to have found him.

  2. Allin says:

    Gorgeous website… both graphics and content!

  3. Allin says:

    TQ for debunking the bad rap on black cats. Black is beautiful!

  4. rattlerjen says:

    Thank you so much for posting about black cats. I know that black animals in shelters are more difficult to adopt out. One of the strange reasons no one thinks about is the difficulty in photographing them. The heart melting eyes just don’t seem to come out in print. I have had this problem with photographing my black dog Grom, for my blog. I often have to use photoshop to bring out his eyes.
    Funny how when out in public, the black shiny coats attract more admirers.

    Thank you for following my blog BTW :)

    • Amirh says:

      Thanks so much for your kind comments in support of black animals in general, and thanks for reading and commenting. I’m so behind in my posts — laptop trouble. Looking forward to getting back to you and Grom as well.

  5. genasemenov says:

    Thanks so much for the link and the well written black cat article!

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