Our kitty Kaci, posing against Halloween colors. I adopted her twelve years ago, and she cuddles next to my head every night.
One of my students walked through the door of our third-grade classroom last Friday clutching her homework folder and wearing her usual so-shy-it-melts-your-heart smile. As well, she wore a long-sleeved black shirt with pink lettering that read, "Black is the new pink!"
Which is great on so many counts. But it was the perfect title for today's topic, which is black cats.
Think of black cats, and most of us -- even if we have a black kitty companion ourselves -- think of the old wives' tale that warns that the black cat crossing our path will bring bad luck. These silly little sayings seem to stick into our brains like burrs on a sweater, even if we don't believe them. (It's the same way that the Smurfs theme gets caught in your head all day. You're welcome.)
Sadly, though, many people do avoid black cats, even if subconsciously.
A few months ago, I learned a very surprising fact. Our animal shelters are overflowing with black cats. Why? Partly because people still cling to this strange idea that these animals will bring bad tidings. Other people feel like their features are less interesting and/or are harder to read. Whatever the reason, it's unexpectedly odd. I challenge you to go to Petfinder (see below) and look up the cats available for adoption in your zip code. (It takes five seconds to do.) Notice how many black cats there are?
Even sadder, many of these places do not allow black cats to be adopted in the two weeks or even the month before the Halloween season because there have been many people who have adopted them merely as props for parties, haunted houses, etc. After October 31, they are either returned to the shelter or dumped. And there are some who do worse things.
Disturbing to say the least.
If you are looking for a new kitty companion, consider scouting out the black kitties. There are even adoption organizations that work on finding homes just for black cats! (Black Cat Rescue is one that is local to Boston.)
And if anyone makes a crack about your new black kitty and bad luck, just give them a confused stare and say, "Black is the new pink. Even a third-grader knows that."
This is Harry, who is at the Metrowest Humane Society in Ashland, Massachusetts. I found him by doing a random search on Petfinder. He, along with hundreds of other local animals, can be found on Petfinder.