August 17 – Black Cat Appreciation Day

Posted on August 17, 2014

Did you know that black cats are a LOT harder to place in adoptive homes than other colors of cats? Routinely, they are the last to be adopted...or they aren't adopted at all!

Back when I was a young parent, my kids and I were privileged to watch our family pet give birth to five adorable babies. We easily found good homes for all of the kittens EXCEPT the black kitty. We named him “Howie,” for Halloween, and we wanted to keep him, but we were living with a firm rule: only one cat. Luckily, my husband was able to find a long-term shelter that was a sort of cat heaven, for hard-to-adopt-out cats.

But why was adorable little Howie so hard to adopt out?

Long ago, in much of Western Europe, black cats were looked on by superstitious people as evil omens or the bringers of bad luck. Some thought that black cats were the “familiars” or animal guides of witches. Some even thought that a black cat crossing your path meant death!

So now you see why black cats are often associated with Halloween.

But now that modern people do not believe in spirits and magic and evil omens...well, I guess enough still shiver enough when they see a black cat that they at least prefer all the other colors of cats?

The fellow who created this holiday chose August 17 because his beloved sister died on this date just two months after her black cat died. The holiday is meant to honor his sister and her bond with her cat as well as get us to reconsider our preferences as to the colors of cats.

Also on this date:

The Meaning of “Is” Day

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