Today, August 17, is Black Cat Appreciation Day!
Black cats are often feared, mistrusted and misunderstood. For centuries they have taken on a soiled reputation and are often thought to bring bad luck. This theory seems most prominent in the United States. Perhaps because of Puritanical roots, or perhaps because of the color black itself — these cats have long been associated with all kinds of willy-nilly superstition.
It is time to dispel these myths! In truth, black cats are loyal, affectionate, funny and fantastic pets. Historically, black cats have been celebrated and revered in many cultures. In fact, these ebony beauties were thought to bring good luck in many parts of Great Britain and Asia. Consider the following:
In Yorkshire, it was believed that a black cat kept in a fisherman’s home would ensure his ship’s safe return from sea. It was also believed that a black cat aboard ship would bring a bounty of fish. If the cat was banished from the ship, the supply of fish would run out as well. Cat ahoy!
In Cornwall, it was believed that passing a black cat’s tail over one’s eyes would cure soreness and headaches. In Wales, it was believed that a black cat could ensure good health. Modern day scientists have proven that keeping a cat can actually lower one’s blood pressure, so there may be some truth to these theories.
Wealth and Love:
“Whenever the cat of the house is black, the lasses of lovers will have no lack” — Scottish Folk Saying
In Scotland, it was believed that a bride seeing a black cat on her wedding day would ensure a happy marriage. Scottish folklore also states that a black cat found on your porch will bring financial prosperity. In Japan, a black cat was considered an all around good luck charm.
In Ancient Egypt, black cats were worshiped and revered because of their association with the goddess Bast. Many pharaohs and queens owned black cats.
21st Century Cats
In modern times, the engineer and professor of animal science Temple Grandin has spoken praises of black cats. Grandin claims that there is a relationship between fur color and animals’ behavior. Black cats, she says, are known to be more sociable and adaptable. A stray black cat is often more likely to make friends with strangers. In groups of cats, the black ones will often be more affectionate.
If a black cat has graced your life, you already know they are smart, with a great sense of humor!
Despite all of this, black cats are still the last to be adopted out of animal shelters. If you are in the market for a pet, please consider one of these dark lovelies.
Famous black cat owners include Frank Zappa, Marlon Brando, Joey Ramone, Morgan Freeman, Brigitte Bardot, Vincent Price and John Lennon. (And maybe even smart guy Groucho Marx…)
“A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere.” — Groucho Marx
Take time to appreciate a black cat today!