That Old Black Cat Magic

Image result for pictures of black cats with green eyes

Alice in Wonderland, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, is missing her cat Dinah. When Alice was plucked from her book and made to live in contemporary NYC, beloved Dinah was left behind. So Alice went to an animal shelter to adopt a cat. She fell in love with a vivacious green-eyed kitten, but because it had black fur the agency suggested she adopt in November. Many animal shelters don’t let black cats get adopted right before Halloween; too many people use them as living decorations, abandoning them after the holiday; or they can be cruelly used for pranks. For the latter reason, it is suggested that if you already own a black cat, keep him/her inside around Oct. 31st.

Contrary to popular belief, the “unlucky” black cat is not discriminated against when it comes to adoption. It’s simply that more black cats exist than white, gray, or brown ones.  According to the ASPCA black cats represent 31% of all feline adoptions annually, followed by gray then brown cats. However, black-coated animals show age more quickly; silver hairs show up easily on that color of fur, the same way dark-haired women have to dye their roots more often! When it comes to taking a selfie with black cats, they can be hard to photograph. Non-professionals may find the black cat comes out like a dark blot, while the fur of a lighter-colored cat catches the light. (Fair is always easier to photograph which is why early Hollywood preferred blondes with pink skin tones over “exotic” types.)

While medieval black cats were historically accused of being “familiars”, messengers who traveled at night between the witch and the devil, some cultures have revered them. In ancient Egypt black cats were thought to bring their owners good luck, which is still considered to be the case in modern Japan and parts of Britain. In fact there is an Old English rhyme that goes:

Black cat, cross my path
Good fortune bring to home and hearth
When I am away from home
Bring me luck wherever I roam


Image result for pictures of halloween black cats

16 thoughts on “That Old Black Cat Magic

  1. Coming from England to Canada, I was so surprised to hear total opposite sayings about black cats! I was used to them supposedly bringing good luck, that being a bad omen just didn’t seem right! 🙂

  2. I lost my little ginger cat a few years ago, she was wonderful and such a character. But lately, I’ve been starting to feel like there was a cat-shaped hole in my life that needs to be filled. I’ve been finding myself drawn to the black kitties on the adoption websites, I always heard they were less adoptable for the connotations of unlucky black cats I was glad to hear that isn’t so.

  3. Interesting to learn that several animal shelters don’t let black cats get adopted right before Halloween as they could be abandoned after this celebration…
    I didn´t know that statistically there are so many black cats… But what I can highlight with regard to white cats is that most times they are deaf… True fact… Oh and thinking that black cats are unlucky animals is such an archaic belief. Almost like Friday 13 th. Well, at least for me 😉 Sending best wishes. Aquileana 😀

    1. Stats don’t seem to say anything about orange cats, I once had an orange and white one…It is odd about white cats so often being deaf; I wonder why. Thanks for writing! Good luck this pagan holiday!!! Annabelle

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