Nothing is quite as elegant as a black cat—like a miniature Amazonian jaguar, they doze atop the highest point in the area, waking for several hours daily to prowl around hunting for a tasty morsel. But black cats and kittens are often overlooked when animal shelters are looking for new homes, and can be at the shelter much longer than they should be. So why is this?
The History of Black Cat Appreciation Day
Interestingly, cats in ancient Egypt were revered highly, partly due to their ability to combat vermin such as mice, rats. Cats of royalty were known to be dressed in golden jewelry and were allowed to eat right off their owners’ plates. The goddess of warfare was a woman with the head of a cat named Bastet.
These days, however, black cats are often are seen as unlucky or mischievous, but not everyone knows why that is. In Celtic mythology, it was believed that fairies could take the form of black cats, and therefore their arrival to a home or village was seen as sign of good luck. Unfortunately, the Pilgrims that came after them were devoutly religious and fearful of anything remotely related to the pagan beliefs of their ancestors, and it was because of that fear that black cats went from being seen as the vessels of fairies to the vessels of witches and demons. At that time it became common practice to severely punish those who kept black cats as pets, and even kill the animals themselves.
Although these days nobody really believes black cats are witches or demons in disguise anymore, they are still often seen as signs of bad luck by many people in the West.
NATIONAL BLACK CAT APPRECIATION DAY TIMELINE
During the Spanish Inquisition, the Catholic Church associated black cats with witchcraft.
Felix the Cat debuts in “Feline Follies.”
“Hocus Pocus” premieres with one of its stars being a black cat named Binx.
Everyone’s favorite teenage witch, Sabrina, makes her TV debut with her sidekick, Salem.
5 MYTHS ABOUT BLACK CATS
Black cats can change color
Black cats that also have the Tabby stripe gene have fur that can turn a rusty brown color after they’ve been lounging in the sun for a long time.
They were companions to sailors
Sailors and fisherman thought that having black cats on board would bring them good luck. It helped that they would eat the rats too!
Black cats are not a single breed
There are actually 22 cat breeds that have solid black coats.
Japan’s black cat cafe
In Himeji, Japan, there is a cafe that’s entirely devoted to black cats where visitors can pet them during their visit.
All cats are sacred
In Ancient Egypt, all cats were considered sacred, so they were worshipped. This includes black cats!
NATIONAL BLACK CAT APPRECIATION DAY DATES