Friday the 13th & Black Cats
Today is a rare occurrence of both a full moon and Friday the 13th. Unfortunately, whenever a Friday the 13th comes around, we can still hear stories of black cats being abused, tortured, or neglected. Fortunately, as a veterinarian I haven’t heard of any such occurrences here in Kingston, Ontario but I hope I can help say something here to change the fortunes of these fancy felines.
The origin of a fear of black cats lives in the Middle Ages when older women became demonized as witches. It was believed that witches could transform themselves into black cats or that black cats hung around witches and were therefore guilty by association. As witch hunts spread, the killing or torture of black cats sadly began. For people with a superstitious persuasion, they know there aren’t witches these days but they still have a fear for reasons unknown to myself. Fanatical people can go so far as to harm these cats. This is an excellent reason to keep your black cat indoors, not just on Friday the 13th or Halloween, but all year round. They can also be harder to see in the dark and may become victims of car accidents more often.
If black cats are not being abused (hopefully not any longer!), they can often be left in shelters and passed over for adoption strictly because of their color. Some shelters have gone to reducing adoption fees or promoting black cat adoptions to help alleviate this problem. Despite all this, there are several reasons to add a black cat to your family! In some parts of the world, a black cat being around is a sign of good luck or prosperity (Asia, United Kingdom, southern France). In older days, it was often thought that owning a black cat would ensure a safe return for travelling sailors or good weather on their travels. There are also these excellent reason from the British Columbia SPCA to adopt a black cat:
- Black cats are easier to find in the snow.
- Black cats absorb heat and are therefore perfect for cuddling with.
- When next to you, black cats make you look thinner.
- Black cats never look dirty.
- Black goes with everything so you will always match your cat.
- Black cats always look presentable on formal occasions.
- Black hair is invisible on your black wool coat.
- Black cats look more distinguished as they age because their grey hair is more visible.
- It’s easier to see black fur in your food so you’ll never end up swallowing it.
- Black is beautiful.
So the next time you see a black cat or you know someone who is afraid of them, share these wonderful reasons to help break the negativity about these lovely felines. If you yourself are superstitious about what today may bring, just steer clear of any ladders, don’t move any mirrors, and be sure to keep your lucky horseshoe handy.
Disclaimer: All blog posts are personally written and my opinion and do not reflect those of current or former employers. All images found in multiple sites on the internet, some have been edited.
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