Saturday, August 17, 2019

Black Cat Appreciation Day

August 17 is Black Cat Appreciation Day. Wayne H. Morris created this day in honor of his late sister, June, who had a black cat, Sinbad. The purpose of this day is to help dispel the myths, folklore, and superstitions surrounding black cats. 
Misty - the newest house panther in our family
Photo credit: Dorenda Gregg Truesdale
The myth of black cats being evil began in the Middle Ages.


Fear and Superstition


People associated black cats with Satan, witches, and witchcraft. Some actually believed black cats were shape-shifting witches. Pirates believed if a black cat boarded the ship and then jumped off, the ship would sink. This belief has continued to influence people in the 21st Century. Many animal shelters won't place black cats in home during the month of October for fear of them being used sacrificially. Most of Europe and North America consider the black cat to be bad luck. 

Mr. Jones

Good Luck

The Egyptians considered black cats to be lucky. The Japanese culture believed black cats helped single women attract more suitors, while a black cat is the ideal wedding gift in Great Britain's English Midlands. British sailors believed black cats would bring ships good luck and ensure a safe return. Some fisherman's wives would keep black cats at home with the hope the cats would use their influence to protect the spouses at sea. A common belief in Scotland is that a black cat arriving on your doorstep signals prosperity and England and Ireland believe if a black cat crosses your path, it signals good luck. Pirates believed if a black cat walked away from you, there would be good luck.

Zoey and Misty
Photo Credit: Dorenda Gregg Truesdale

Black Cats

Black cats are just like every other cat! They tend to have yellow eyes which is due to melanism, which produces an excess of melanin, the dark pigment that makes the cats black. This pigment also makes the eyes a dark yellow. Black coat colors appear in a variety of purebred and mixed cats, but the Bombay cat breed was developed to specifically resemble a black panther. Both parents must have the black gene. Many people who own black cats call them "house panthers." Just like humans, a black cat's fur can turn gray and white as she ages. If your black cat spends too much time in the sun, their fur can begin turning a reddish dark brown, which is known as "rusting." Some research is showing that black cats may have a higher resiliency against illness and are more resistant against diseased like Feline HIV. Even through there is a history of superstition and association with witchcraft about black cats, they are NOT bad luck! The behavioral pattern of these cats are just like other felines.

Misty - the day she was found
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Handy

Meet Our House Panther Cousins

We've already shared posts about Mr. Jones, who is a beautiful black cat who lives with Mom Paula's sister, Dorenda and her family, on a 31-acre farm. Recently, a friend of Dorenda's found a black kitten when they were out walking the dogs. They heard loud meows/cries from under a huge magnolia.They looked and found a tiny black kitten in a hole. They took the dogs back home and came back with gloves and rescued the kitten. Elizabeth (Dorenda's friend) posted photos on Facebook, asking if anyone wanted a black kitten because she couldn't have a cat. My sister responded that they would love to bring the kitten home to the farm. This is what Dorenda had to say about Misty:

"Misty was about 3 weeks of age when she was found under a magnolia tree at twilight. All alone. Not much hair. Starving. My friend, Elizabeth, saved her. We got her 1 week later. She is the bravest little kitty we have ever seen. She isn't afraid of anything. Even Mr. Jones likes her."

Misty is now enjoying life on the farm with Mr. Jones (house panther) and KC (tortoiseshell) and the rest of the menagerie of animals and humans.

Black cats in our lives -  Zoey with Mr. Jones, rescued kittens from 2011, and Zoey with Misty

Many of you may remember the two black kittens who showed up on our doorstep back in 2011. Mom Paula fed them and provided shelter in her back storage building until someone was able to take them. At the time, she couldn't take us in because we'd just come to live with her. The kittens were beautiful, friendly, and found a loving home!

9 comments:

  1. Such sweet Cousins, Happy Black Cat Appreciation Day!!!

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  2. Thank the heavenly stars that Miss Elizabeth came around to rescue Misty when she was a wee kitty! Thanks fur sharing that story, Miss Paula and the photos of chats noirs. Kisses.

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  3. Your cousins are so cute! Happy Blanck Cat Appreciation Day!

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  4. Black cats rule! Happy Black Cat Appreciation Day!

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  5. I am glad Misty was rescued. Before photos. I love black cats. XO

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  6. My human's family has a long history of living with black cats. Her dad's last cat was a longhaired black kitty, Smokey, who now lives in Nashville with her ex.

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  7. We love black cats, just like we love all cats.

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  8. Great post, and we loved Misty's story ! Happy Black Cat Appreciation Day ! Purrs

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  9. My oldest sister had four black cats, and they were wonderful pets. My younger sister has a handsome black cat now, Clayton, and he is super sweet.

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