Black Cat Appreciation
August 17th is black cat appreciation day. It developed in the U.S. due to black cats being less likely to be adopted from shelters than any other color of cat. Sadly, the reason is twofold; they appear dull next to more colorful cats and the superstition that some of our ancestors had. Pilgrims with their strong religious beliefs looked at black cats as symbols of Satan. Anyone caught with a black cat would be severely punished or even killed. This triggers the basic instinct of self-preservation (stay away from black cats and stay alive).
Other parts of the world had conflicting views of black cats. In Germany, some people believed if a black cat crosses your path from right to left that is a bad omen but if it goes from left to right, you’ll be in favorable times. 18th century pirates had similar conflicting thoughts: if a black cat walks towards you, you’ll have bad luck but walking away from you, you’ll have good luck.
Still others only had positive views of the black cat. Sailors would need cats on their boats to take care of mice and rats. Many sailors preferred a black cat because it would bring good luck. Fisherman’s wives would keep black cats at home with the belief it would help influence protection of their husbands at sea. Parts of Britain and Japan consider black cats lucky. The arrival of an unknown black cat to your home in Scotland brings you prosperity. Not to mention, ancient Egyptians worshipped cats and their goddess Bastet. Ancient Egyptians hosting black cats in their house would gain favor from her.
This history lesson with all its verbiage is to say, if you’re going out to pick up a feline friend, don’t judge “the book by its cover”, take a chance and get to know a black cat. It can provide a wonderful friendship. If you are one of the lucky ones, go give your black cat a kiss for me!