I have a black cat. Most of you met him a couple of weeks ago. His name is Apollo.
We also call him Squeaks, Smelly, and “STOP MEOWING AND GO TO BED I ALREADY FED YOU!”
When we adopted him, I had the brief uneasy rumbling that being mildly superstitious might bring when one adopts a black cat. It didn’t last long, though. Honestly, black cats seem kind of lucky to me- as my neighbor so ominously noted when we first moved in, “the black ones last longer.” (If you don’t know what I am referring to, the story is here.)
I don’t even think about black cats in superstitious terms anymore, except around this time of year when everyone starts talking about black cats and how Satanists are on the prowl to steal them for their gruesome rituals. I’ve asked lots and lots of emergency vets if any of them have seen these cats come in with mysterious pentagrams carved on their foreheads or unexplained blood loss, and they always say no, all they see on Halloween are a bunch of labs who stole all the Halloween chocolate.
Many shelters do not adopt black cats in October, but the problem is less Anton Le Vay, more Anton the PR guy who thinks having a black cat would be a fun prop for the company Halloween party. These poor kitties are adopted out en masse only to find themselves re-abandoned once their novelty as decor has worn off.
I found a really fun list of black cat lore on About.com. Apparently in the UK, black cats are lucky. Maybe Apollo is an ex-pat? He’s been great to us; we love him to pieces and my life since adopting him has been anything but unlucky. When he’s kneading on me at 3 am begging for food, I may think he is evil incarnate, but when I look into his green eyes all I see is a certain wicked twinkle- much like my own. Poor maligned, misunderstood black cats.
I love having a black cat. Although there are always wide varieties of temperaments in all of cat-dom, I would say the black cats in general do tend to have pretty good dispositions overall, say, compared to your average man-eating calico. To be honest if you told me calicos were witches in disguise I would have a lot less trouble believing it. I wonder if this whole black cat = witch rumor was in fact a subterfuge initiated by a calico from Salem at some point in the 1700s. Someone should investigate this.
Anyone else lucky enough to have one of these onyx omens prowling their house? Aren’t they the best?