As we approach Halloween, there is one creature that is often featured and with great appeal while many are trick-or-treating. However, once this celebrated event has passed, many treat this creature like something carrying the bubonic plague. They are mysterious, sneaky, smart and very intuitive. Their presence to some is menacing, while to others they are a welcome delight. Who are these captivating wonders? I'm talking about the black cat. These wonderful animals have been so misunderstood and in many ways, looked upon with great disdain. There are many breeds of cats that can enchant and delight us. From the calico to the Siamese and the ever so playful tuxedo cat. Many of the felines have outstanding coats with brilliant colors that give them an air of distinction. While this is a nice quality to admire, it is not looked upon quite the same as with the black cat. The black cat is considered plain, and in some schools of thought, a sign of bad luck. Many who follow superstitious folklore would sooner run away from a black cat then embrace and welcome them. Its a pretty tough rap to face, especially for an animal who had no say so in the color of their coat. Of course we know this is determined through genetic activity and the chromosomes carried by the female cat. Based on the chromosome level, the color of the fur can be orange, black or brown. This can often lead to the tortoiseshell cat, where some colors are orange mixed in with black and brown fur.
The black cat is not only a valuable addition to the animal kingdom, but they are very special creatures who, when they are examined, make for a wonderful addition to any person's life or to a family. For years I wondered why black cats are treated the way they are. Like their canine counterpart, the pit bull, they are so often misunderstood and passed over because of misinformation that has been spread about them. It really is a shame that people won't take a moment to research the animal themselves, and debunk some of the myths and the overlooked facts about black cats.
One of the things that fascinated me about black cats and also created one of the greatest myths was how they were often associated with Satanism and witchcraft. This myth goes back to the Middle Ages. During that time, people ascribed to their faith and belief in God. Anything that went contrary to that was quickly dismissed as being wrong. Black cats were considered creatures of evil. Masses of these animals were killed during that time. Also, anyone who owned a black cat was considered guilty by association, and they too were killed. What an awful mentality to lay upon such an innocent creature simply by virtue of their fur color. Today, there are many who still hold to this school of thought, and black cats are often ostracized and overlooked for pet adoptions. The horrific thought that they may even be used in sacrificial offerings is even more disturbing. They don't deserve this.
What I also found interesting is that in other cultures, the black cat is regarded as good luck. In Japanese culture, the black cats is thought to bring good fortune to single women. The presence of a black cat signifies an attraction of more male suitors. I think the Japanese are onto something. Maybe black cats can get their own dating website. I bet you in this world of people looking for love, it would be a hit! And yet in another culture (in particular Scotland), a black cat crossing your path is also a sign of good luck. How contrary to the Western mindset, where if a black cat crosses you under a ladder, you are doomed to bad fortune. I believe its all in one's mind. This is why we must maintain an open mind to other people's views and experiences. We may not understand why people think and believe the way they do, but respectfully try to understand before easily dismissing them. Having that understanding should also enhance your perspective on black cats.
From a personal view, I have always loved black cats. I have had a few in my lifetime and I treasured each and every one of them. Most recently was my beloved Charity (pictured at the top with me). We shared eleven beautiful years of friendship, companionship and the most beautiful pairing of she and my beloved dog, Ginger. (pictured below) They became the best of friends actually having grown up together. They were quite inseparable. I also had another black cat who was Charity's older brother, Guffy. He was so much my heart and a true sentry guard. His devotion to me was unparalleled, and I miss both of them and their presence in my life today. In all the time that I cared for these two beautiful felines, I never felt anything but the good fortune to have them with me. I felt quite blessed that God found favor to entrust them to my care. In my heart of hearts, I know I did right by them, and we were all the better for having been together. They were accurate weather predictors (in the event of a earthquake) and very good at discerning bad people trying to enter my life. I, of course, had my intuition as well. They certainly reinforced what I may have known and was able to follow through in practice.
It does break my heart that these wonderful creatures still face a horrific world of people who just don't like black cats. They allow that dislike to build into pure repulsion for the animal and unmentionable behaviors if they come in contact with them. It is my hope that people would look beyond the black fur. Take a moment and look into those beautiful eyes and see a creature that can (and will ) love you until the end of their lifetime (or yours). You will see that they possess a special quality that will only enhance your life, not ruin it. If you can give yourself that moment, you will find that black cats really are very special and one of the most beautiful of God's creations.