August 17 is National Black Cat Appreciation Day – an excellent opportunity to learn a few things about these amazing and notorious cats, and why we should give them a little extra love.
To begin, it might surprise some of you to know that, even in this modern age, black cats are still associated by some with witchcraft, Halloween, and bad luck. This reputation began way back in the middle ages when black cats were erroneously connected to suspected witches (so were many other animals – the rep, unfortunately, stuck firmly to the black cat.) Though this may seem amusing now, the sad side effect of this kind of persistent prejudice puts black cats in the unfortunate position of being less likely to be adopted in shelters. Even worse, some black cats are in danger of being harmed on days like Halloween. For this reason, some shelters suspend adoptions of black cats during the month of October.
How unfair! Especially when you consider these reasons why black cats are really cool:
Black Cats Live Longer
The genetic mutations that cause the black coat appear to also be associated with a stronger immune system and protection from some diseases, (such as FIV), as well as increased longevity. More time to love your cat!
They Can Change Color
A fun fact about black cats is that if they lay out in the sun too long, they can start to “rust” as their melanin reacts with the sun exposure. As they age, black cats can also start going a little grey, and get a salt and pepper look.
Black Cats Bring Good Luck
In some cultures and traditions, black cats bring good luck, instead of bad, and might even help your love life!
They Have Beautiful Eyes
A black cat’s abundance of melanin often causes them to have the most beautiful golden eyes.
Black Cats are Excellent Hunters
This one makes perfect sense – cats are nocturnal hunters by nature, and black cats have an extra ninja edge over other cats by being nearly invisible in the dark.
They Look Like Tiny Black Panthers
At the end of the day, isn’t it just the coolest thing to have a tiny panther living in your house?
These are just a few of so many reasons to love black cats. When it comes time for you to open your home to a rescue cat, won’t you consider giving one of these amazing cats a place in your heart?