It’s time to celebrate the special creature that is the black cat. National Black Cat Appreciation Day is August 17, 2019! Black cats are the last to be adopted and the first to be euthanized in shelters. Why? Numerous superstitions about black cats have impacted the public’s perception of them. Anyone who has ever owned, or been owned by, a black cat can tell you they are just as fun, quirky and cuddly as their feline counterparts of other colors.
Superstitions, Old Wives Tales and Witchcraft
The Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock brought with them many superstitions about the humble black cat. They viewed black cats as bad omens associated with the occult. The Pilgrims believed that black cats were the messengers of witches and participants in witchcraft. A belief that permeated society even during the Salem Witch Trials. This association with witches and the occult made seeing a black cat cross your path into a bad omen and a sign of bad luck to come.
These days, we know a black cat crossing your path has nothing to do with luck any more than breaking a mirror or walking under a ladder. It’s just an old wives tale but one that continues to follow this fine creature even today. Check out the Halloween decorations in October, you’ll see plenty of black cats associated with the spookiest day of the year.
Good Luck, a Fairy and a Goddess
In both Japan and Britain, a black cat crossing your path is considered good luck. In fact, British households once believed having a black cat living in the home would bring suitors for any woman in residence. In Scotland, black cats were said to bring good luck as they represented a fairy from Celtic mythology called Cat Sith. Egypt takes the win on positive associations with the black cat. The Egyptian goddess, Bast, preferred the form of a cat. Many followers kept statues of black cats in their homes to honor her and win her favor. Pirates and sailors kept black cats on board for good luck and their wives would often keep black cats in the home to send good luck to their husbands while at sea.
Unfortunately, the negative stereotypes and myths about black cats still impact their fate. In fact, their bad reputation also impacts black dogs, who are often high on the list of euthanizations and often the last to be adopted from shelters. If you are considering a new pet, consider a black cat (or dog). And of course, black matches everything so any harness or leash you choose from the whole Bark Appeal line will look simply devine on your new feline family member!