Discussing The Holiday That Honors, Celebrates, And Raises Awareness About Black Cats
Humans and cats have had a unique and mutually beneficial relationship for over 10,000 years. However, it wasn’t always smooth sailing as there have been a few rough patches along the way. This is especially true when it comes to black cats. Black cats have a long history of superstition, fear, and misunderstanding around them. Thankfully, October 27th is widely celebrated as National Black Cat Day. This article will cover everything you need to know about black cats, their history, why they are so great, and the holiday that celebrates them.
The Worldwide History Of Black Cats
Throughout human history and across the entire world, cats can be found. Some cultures, like the ancient Egyptians, worshiped cats as divine symbols of the gods. However, not all cultures and times shared this view. For example, medieval France and Spain viewed black cats as bringers of bad luck and curses. Additionally, medieval Germans believed themselves to be cursed should a black cat cross their path.
But, not all cultures viewed black cats as bad omens. The people of the British Islands and of Japan considered black cats to be good luck. They would often house and care for black cats in hopes of them bringing good fortune. Furthermore, it seems that people everywhere, across different eras, had very different views on black cats. Their reasoning will vary from culture to culture and from region to region. But, it would seem that no matter where you went, people were fixated on black cats. For better or for worse.
Black Cats In The U.S.
It’s no coincidence that National Black Cat Day occurs in October, just days before Halloween. There is a strong association between black cats and Halloween. But why? According to History.com, it all started with the pilgrims in the Plymouth colony. It is believed that the Puritan pilgrims distrusted anything that was related to witches or sorcery. This included black cats. The Puritan pilgrims actively persecuted, hunted, and burned black cats out of fear.
Centuries later, after the colonial anti-witch hunts stopped, both witches and black cats have cemented themselves in popular legend and folklore. Today, Americans use decorations of witches and black cats to celebrate Halloween. These decorations are used to symbolize and invoke a spooky, frightful, and unnerving ambience.
Why Black Cats Are Worth Celebrating
Thankfully, we no longer live in colonial times where black cats are burned alive due to their supposed relation to witchcraft. However, there is still a great deal of superstition and distrust revolving around black cats today. National Black Cat Day aims to break these superstitions and raise awareness about how black cats make wonderful pets. Some animal advocacy organizations, like the AFB Pet Club, report that black cats are less likely to be adopted and more likely to be euthanized in animal shelters.
While there is little evidence to prove this, it is evident that many pet owners are more likely to purchase purebreds over adopting non-purebreds. Because of this, National Black Cat Day also serves as a reminder about the importance of adoption. The A.S.P.C.A. reports that roughly 3.2 million cats enter U.S. animal shelters every year. Out of those 3.2 million cats, not all of them will be adopted. About 530,000 cats are euthanized in U.S. animal shelters every year. These are tragically high numbers, but they can be changed.
How You Can Observe The Holiday
The best way to celebrate National Black Cat Day is by adopting a black cat! However, being a cat owner is a huge responsibility and should not be taken lightly. Only adopt if you have the means and the time to care for the pet. Besides adopting, you can also observe this holiday by spreading the word about National Black Cat Day. Post about this amazing holiday on social media and be sure to include some pictures of black cats too! Feel free to share this article as well.
Lastly, you can also observe this purr-fect holiday by watching some movies or tv shows that include black cats. Shows like Sabrina the Teenage Witch or Sylvester from Looney Tunes are just a few examples. There are plenty of “old school” horror films that revolve around black cats too! Movies like “The Black Cat,” “Cat People,” and “Legend of The Demon Cat” are all great options!
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