Did you know:
In Europe, during the middle ages, superstitions surrounded black cats and gave birth to myths we still see today. Their common association with witches and black magic can be traced back to these beliefs, yet historically, black cats have more often than not been a sign of good omens.
The English have called them a blessing for marriages and believed they offer protection to sailors caught in rough seas. In Japan, black cats are a sign of wealth and prosperity.
For stage directors, seeing a black cat in your theater on opening night meant your play would have a long, successful run. In ancient Egypt, black cats were revered and believed to represent Bastet, Goddess of fertility, and childbirth.
There have been many claims of black cats being ritually sacrificed on Halloween, leading many shelters to refuse to adopt out their black cats in the weeks leading up to the holiday.
The more likely threat facing these cats is that they will be adopted for pageantry (e.g. to complement a witches costume or a Halloween party) and then abandoned like baby chicks often are after Easter. In this sense, it is a good thing that shelters take these precautions.
All of the stigma, superstition, and myth have real-world consequences: black cats are the least adopted cats of any kind from shelters, leading many of them to be euthanized. While the practice of ritual sacrifice might be exaggerated, the erroneous superstitions and myths are harmful to black cats.
You can help fight the stigma by sharing this newsletter with family and friends and show them that black cats are good luck!
England (Picture: Tiddles, a Royal Navy Ship cat)