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Why black cats get a bad rap

Updated on May 29, 2015

A beautiful species

We wanted another cat because one of our cats was getting old and our other cat was in the need of a playmate because he was only four and still liked to play and my female, well she wanted to spend her days laying around and not being annoyed.

I have always adopted my cats from a shelter and Pet Smart started a cat adoption program from our local animal shelter. I would always visit them when I went in to the store but they were all older cats and I really wanted a kitten.

On a nice Saturday morning I went to visit the cats and there was a litter of six little black kittens. They were four months old. One little girl came up to the door of the cage and began meowing and rubbing up and down on the door. I asked the sales associate if I could hold her and it was love at first sight. My little Sia was going home with me.

About a week later we got a call from the animal shelter thanking us for adopting Sia because most likely her siblings would be put to sleep in a few weeks if no one adopted them. I asked them why.

Black cats get a bad rap because people are superstitious that they are evil. The assumption of black cats with witches became the downfall of these beautiful animals. As far back as 3000 bc cats were considered gold and if one was killed it was considered capitol punishment.

When the Salem witch hunts began so did the theory that witches would turn themselves in to black cats and roam the streets, thus causing death to them.

Well unlike popular belief, if I could have taken them all home that day, I would have because our little black kitten has been nothing but joy since she entered our home. She is no different than any other cat.

I think there are more things to be feared in this world then a black cat. So many animals homeless. If you do adopt please make sure you go to a shelter and make sure your animal is spay or neutured.

I got a lifetime of love for twenty dollars at pet smart. I would say that is a great deal for a lucky little girl.

Old folklore gave black cats a bad rap

It seems that the association between bad luck and black cats dates all the way back to the middle of the fourteenth century. It’s not known exactly how and why cats became associated with the Devil in the Middle Ages, but the belief was so persistent that they were all but exterminated during the Black Death pandemic around 1348 CE. (Pause to cry.) Ironically, killing off the cats only worsened the plague, which was often spread via rodents, which all those dearly departed cats could have helped kill.

Blame black magic. As chatter about nefarious witchcraft began to spread around Europe in the sixteenth century, cats (particularly black ones) found themselves tangled up in the hunt, simply because many presumed witches had taken in alley cats as companions. Somehow, the concept of “companion” turned into “familiar,” and the belief that witches could turn themselves into their (typically black) cat companions became a persistent one, even carrying over to America, where it was an indelible part of the Salem Witch Trials.

It didn’t help matters that the Puritan pilgrims who helped populate Salem, Massachusetts were devout Bible believers, and the combination of a major fear of anything Devil-related (dating back to the Middle Ages) and the lingering belief that black cats were a classic part of witch lifestyles was a lethal one. (Kate Erbland 2004)

Black cats are love

I have never truly seen a mean black cat. Any cat can be mean if put in that situation. People need to stop associating these beautiful cats with negative meaning. They are love, they are peace and more over they make great pets.

In any shelter black cats and black dogs are the last to get adopted and the first to get euthanized.

Help stop this terrible feeling over black cats and adopt a black cat today.

Adopt don't shop

If you ever want the sweetest cat in the world, adopt a black cat. My girl Sia is the most docile cat I could ever have. She is sweet and lovable and has never hissed or fought with any of my other cats. Don't let superstitions drive you away from these precious babies.


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