In July, amongst the chaos of my sister’s accident and her home care, we found ourselves taking in more responsibility in the form of an orphaned black kitten.  For two weeks, we thought the kitten was a girl, and called her Lilith.  After the first vet visit however, we came to learn that Lilith was in fact a boy. (Damnit Google!) He grew accustomed to his new name, Sammy, after only a few days.  He was a bright patch in a dark and hard time. 

The folklore surrounding black cats varies from culture to culture. In Great Britain, black cats are seen as lucky. The Scottish believe that a strange black cat's arrival to the home signifies prosperity. In Celtic mythology, a fairy known as the Cat Sìth takes the form of a black cat. Black cats are also considered good luck in Japan.  Furthermore, it is believed that a lady who owns a black cat will have many suitors. (I wish) However, in Western history, black cats have often been looked upon as a symbol of evil omens.  Most of western and southern Europe considers the black cat as a symbol of bad luck, especially if one crosses paths with a person, which is believed to be an omen of misfortune and death. In Germany, some believe that black cats crossing a person's path from left to right, is a bad omen. But from right to left, the cat is granting favorable times.

When the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock, they brought with them a devout faith in the Bible. They also brought a deepening suspicion of anything deemed of the devil. They viewed the black cat as a companion, or a familiar to witches. Anyone caught with a black cat would be severely punished or even killed. They viewed the black cat as part demon and part sorcery.  During the Middle Ages, these superstitions led people to kill black cats. This had the unintended consequence of increasing the rat population and the spread of the Black Death. (Iiiiiirony!)

Black cats have been found to have lower odds of adoption in American shelters compared to other colors.  Some shelters also suspend or limit adoptions of black cats around Halloween for fear they will be tortured, or used as "living decorations" for the holiday and then abandoned.

So next time you are in the market for a new cat, give your heart to the often ignored black kitten.  You won't regret it!

August 17 is Black Cat Appreciation Day

4/1/2013 23:53:24

The only cats I have ever owned have been black - I just have a soft spot for those little mini panthers ;) I enjoyed this post a lot.

"During the Middle Ages, these superstitions led people to kill black cats. This had the unintended consequence of increasing the rat population and the spread of the Black Death."

Irony maybe but more like Karma ;)

*~ MAJK ~*
A to Z 2013

4/1/2013 23:56:52

We adopted two cats a year ago and they have exploded into giant 25 pound terrors. Still, one can't help but house a mini-tiger with some measure of admiration. And occasionally, they allow us to cuddle them. This is my first visit to your blog. Please visit ours at http://citymusecountrymuse2012.blogspot.com/ and please sign up to join our site if you like what you see!

4/2/2013 00:32:48

It's interesting that black cats are considered lucky in some cultures but not in others. In the UK a black cat crossing your path is a sign of good luck, especially if it happens on your wedding day!
<a href=http://paulamartinpotpourri.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/battle-of-bosworth.html> A-Z Challenge</a>

4/2/2013 01:14:12

I also have a black cat and she is awesome too. I do worry about her around Halloween though because, people can be stupid.

4/2/2013 01:45:35

It never fails to amaze me how or why people would use animals as decoration - but they do. With guinea pigs, the ones with red eyes are left on the shelf as people think they are evil. They couldn't be more wrong.

Happy AtoZing!

Jemima at <a href="http://jemimapett.com">Jemima's blog</a>

4/2/2013 03:13:26

LOL at your witchcraft starter kit! :-D

4/2/2013 04:17:29

If not for Mab, I would have gotten a black cat. Still, I love my kitten no matter what color she is.

4/2/2013 05:33:45

I love black cats! Great post :)

4/2/2013 09:02:43

Great post! I'm not a huge cat fan, but black ones are the best - right? :) I'm a new follower from the A to Z Challenge. Nice to meet you.

4/2/2013 11:17:10

Thank you all for commenting. I hate to play favorites but I must admit my little black cat holds a special place in my heart. He has the devil in him most of the time but I adore him!

4/3/2013 13:00:57

I love cats, would love a black one, but wouldn't part with our black and white one, and white and black one. Lovely post.


Aws!! He's adorable. I've so had that happen with a kitty before. But Candace stayed Candace even after we found out he was a boy LOL

Big fan of black kitties. We have a bunch at our shelter and they're all wonderful!

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