With Halloween around the corner, you’ve probably been seeing a lot of black cat costumes and decorations but these superstitions often have a bad effect on black cats.
Hysteria about black cats spread in the days of early modern Europe around 1450. Many believed that various women were witches and were practising black magical. The Christian society was against these pagan ways. Out of coincidence stray cats became a lot more prevalent at this time too, most commonly it was the lonely old ladies that opened up their homes to these feral cats – giving them food and somewhere to stay (in modern times these would be called cat ladies, maybe not much has changed).
Myths and folklore stated that these cats were companions to the assumed witches and some even believed that the witches could turn themselves into cats – something which you see happen on Harry Potter. The cats were deemed guilty by association and unfortunately for black cats, the fear still exists.
It might seem a bit absurd that, even in such a modern, technical world, these superstitions have continued to stray people’s opinions on black cats, even though having something against an animal because of the colour of its fur is completely irrational. You may even be a little bit cautious yourself or even get worried when one crosses your path.
The RSPCA has admitted that black cats generally have to wait a little bit longer than most other cats to get re-homed and figures even show that there are more black cats in rescue shelters than any other colour. At just the start of October there were more than one thousand black cats in the RSPCA just waiting for their forever home.
The RSPCA has urged people to look past appearances or unproven, irrational superstitions as black cats can be some of the most loving, friendliest cats you will meet. However, many shelters refuse to sell their black cats during the whole of October because of the dangers they could be in due to Halloween and their associations with it.
It has been reported that black cats get tortured in some kind of ritualistic display for Halloween, although it is very rare it just doesn’t seem to be worth it. The RSPCA tells owners to keep their pets indoors on Halloween night to avoid any unnecessary heartache caused by people taking the fun celebrations to a nasty level. Also, like with the Christmas holiday, many people have been known to buy a black cat for Halloween and give it up shortly after, almost like a seasonal prop.
Black Cat Day was yesterday, which was created by animal shelters in a hope that it would allow people to turn against their prejudices and not look at the beautiful cats as unlucky.
Obviously, Halloween is a light-hearted event and dressing up as a cat is understandable (they creep around in the night, with big marble eyes and sneaky tendencies) but just make sure nobody takes it too far, and consider adopting a black cat because they are beautiful, lovely cats.