Black Cat Awareness Month: A Celebration of these Beautiful Cats

A Brief History of Black Cats

Ancient Egyptians worshipped a Goddess known as ‘Bastet’ who had the head of a black cat and she was believed to watch over their crops. It was punishable by death to kill a cat.

The negativity and even hostility towards black cats in Europe probably originated from the ancient Greek myths where the Goddess Hera transformed her servant into a black cat as a punishment. This moggie then helped Hecate, the Goddess of witchcraft.

As the centuries went by and Christianity spread throughout Europe, pagan practitioners were seen as Devil worshippers. Black cats were declared to be symbols of the Devil by Pope Gregory IX in 1233 CE. So, since then, the poor moggies were seen as either demons in disguise or helpers of demonic worshippers. Consequently, many cats were burnt alive, (not just black ones), during the Medieval Ages.

Black cats being seen as harbingers of evil have been depicted by the authors Edgar Allan Poe and Bram Stoker in their gruesome stories of ‘The Black Cat’ and ‘The Squaw’ respectively. Not for the faint-hearted to read!

A laughing black cat.
Black cat awareness month: A Celebration of these Beautiful Cats.
Image from Tenor

However, some countries see black cats as good omens.

In Japan, they are seen as bringers of love or fortune.

It is considered lucky to hear a black cat sneezing in Italy.

Black cats are called ‘money cats’ in France. In Scotland, one appearing on your doorstep means prosperity is on its way to you.

In Britain, the wives of fishermen used to keep black cats to ensure the safe return of their husbands from their fishing trips.

If a bride in England receives a black cat as a present she will have a happy marriage.

Black Cats Today

You would think that living in a more enlightened age, blacks cats would now be perceived as just, well, black cats.

Sadly, according to the UK animal charity, RSPCA, black cats and black and white cats are the hardest to rehome from their shelters. It takes an average of 28 days to find them a home in comparison to tabby cats, 23 days and ginger cats, 19 days.

Because it’s Halloween month, a lot of animal welfare agencies won’t allow the adoption of black cats during this month. They fear that people will bring them back after they’ve used them as living Halloween ornaments. Or worse still, the cats could become victims of ritualistic abuse or sacrifices!

As a proud owner- sorry, SERVANT of a black moggie, I can definitely say I’ve never looked back. He’s a sweetie, (unless you’re a mouse or a bird!) very affectionate and easy-going. He likes nothing better than snuggling up to me when I’m in bed.

If you’re thinking of getting a cat, please consider getting a black one. (There are health benefits of keeping all pets not just cats. Click here to see what they are.)

Do you like black cats? Have you read ‘The Black Cat’ or ‘The Squaw’? Have you the stomach to…..

Sources: rspca.org.uk, wagwalking.com, petplan.co.uk, kyhumane.org

11 thoughts on “Black Cat Awareness Month: A Celebration of these Beautiful Cats

  1. I love black cats. They are my favourite. I had never realized they would be harder for shelters to find homes for.

    There’s a little fella who lives in our neighbourhood and he often drops by for a visit. He’s lovely. I do worry about him with Halloween approaching though. There are a lot of sick people in the world.

  2. I’m actually scared if cats!! πŸ˜‚ people have often speculated that I was Egyptian in a past life? I do think black cats are cute though and that it is good luck if one crosses your path x

  3. Interesting post, Rachel. I have a hard time calling our age enlightened, with all the greed, brutality, & apathy we see daily. We are planning to adopt a cat in January, and thanks to you, we will plan to get a black one! 🌞

  4. Yes, you are right, the earlier black cat was considered as the devil but now we know the black cat is a cat in colour nothing else. Very well written, thank you for sharing β˜ΊπŸ’“πŸŒΉ

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