August 17 celebrates National Black Cat Appreciation Day, which should not be confused with National Cat Day. On this date, we specifically celebrate the black cat. Today we love black cats, at least the majority of us do. To prove that statement one only has to consider the famous black cats who are loyal companions. This list includes the sarcastic Thackery Binx in Hocus Pocus, Salem in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, the black cat in the original Star Trek series who actually starred as a shapeshifter, and we can’t talk about black cats at all without featuring Felix the Cat who dates back to the silent film era and was created in 1919.
But superstitions point to the black cat of the past as bad luck. Why? During the Middle Ages the Catholic Church pointed to witches who they believed were shapeshifters into black cats. Today black cats have become more welcomed than their predecessors as a sign of good luck and often would mean prosperity or romance. Some cultures worship the black cat. What a wonderful juxtaposition for these soft and furry creatures.
General opinion rates black cats are among the friendliest and cuddliest creatures. When a black cat visits your house, he or she will bring you good luck. However, just like black dogs, black cats are the least likely to be adopted from animal shelters. Would you consider an addition to your family and seek out a black cat?
Totally unhelpful to the black cats’ standing comes from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat.” The gentleman wasn’t happy with anything black as proven by his work “The Raven.” The happiness related to being accompanied by a black cat can be seen by sailors and fishermen who love the creatures for both their good luck and their ability to keep the ship’s rat population under control.
Some myths about the black cat are plainly and simply untrue. Black cats cannot change color, and they are not a single breed. In reality, there are 22 breeds of cats including those with the black color. The majority of black cats do have yellow, orange, or green eyes. Blue-eyed black cats are rare.
Other days celebrating cats (but not necessarily black ones) include National Kitten Day (July 10), National Cat Day (August 8), Hug Your Cat Day (June 4), and World Lion Day (August 10). Cat owners, however, and most of their feline companions, believe every day is hug and love our cat’s day. But just in case you want an excuse for purchasing catnip or other gifts for your black cat, here’s a great reason for doing so!
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