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Sorting through the hype regarding black cats and Halloween

Sorting through the hype regarding black cats and Halloween

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With roughly two weeks before Halloween, we often get asked if we adopt out black cats this time of year.

In short, of course we do.

As with any adoption, we try to find the right pet for each owner. Crafting well-matched adoptions is important for the animal as well as the owner. We believe most, and hopefully all people, who are paying to adopt any pet are doing it for the right reasons and will love and take care of those pets.

Are there “bad apples” out there? Of course there are, but that is true with everything in this life, and we are doing our best to help find great homes for the thousands of pets in our care each year. Due to the myriad of ways people can people can acquire “free” pets, we would rather be the ones they adopt from, knowing that their pets are spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped helping to keep them safe.

Hopefully, this article will help explain the reasoning behind our decision to treat adoptions around Halloween and the days leading up to it like any other time of year. While there is no doubt that black cats are associated with mystery and possess stealth-like behavior, for example think house panther, there are certainly unavoidable thoughts about these wonderful creatures.

Unfortunately, for centuries, black cats have been connected to witchcraft, the devil or just plain evil and haven’t always been treated with kindness, let along compassion. During the bubonic plague in the 1300s, black cats were thought by some as the culprit of this disease because of their “so-called” evil ways and many were killed.

This plan backfired because it allowed for more rats (the real culprit behind this devastating disease due to the fleas they carried) to survive and spread the sickness. In this sad twist of fate, black cats were the scapegoat, when in fact, they could have helped save lives, if they were treated with more respect and allowed to live in peace.

For those of at Midlands Humane Society, we think black cats are just as awesome as any other cat who currently resides with us. This year, we are happy with the number of black kittens and cats we have rescued and adopted out. Frankly, we have had, and continue to have amazing, loving, friendly black cats who would make a great companion for most any type of home environment.

They are personable, funny and so beautiful with an array of spectacularly colored eyes, we think anyone would be proud to own one of these remarkable animals. With this being the time of year that people love to be scared, dress in costume and for kids of all ages, to score big in the candy department, we want to share a little history on our friend — the black cat.

Historically, black cats have often been connected to Halloween or witchcraft. In most Western cultures, black cats have typically been looked upon as a symbol of evil omens, specifically being suspected of being the companions of witches, or even shape-shifting witches themselves. Some consider the black cat a symbol of bad luck, particularly if one walks across the path in front of a person, which is believed to be an omen of misfortune and death.

These superstitions are as silly as the fear of seven years of bad luck breaking a mirror, or walking under a ladder or spilling salt, yet they remain in our vernacular. In Germany, some believe that black cats crossing a person’s path from right to left, is a bad omen, but from left to right, the cat is granting favorable times. For as many stories as black cats bringing bad luck, there are stories of black cats bringing just the opposite and granting good favor.

For example, an all-black cat (with not a single stand of white) is often looked at as bringing good luck into the home because it was thought they will ward off evil spirits. Marriages are sometimes considered blessed if the couple shares their home with a black cat. For sailors on the high seas, a black cat on board was thought to bless the crew and the vessel and help ensure safe passage to dry land.

We hope everyone will give a second look at adopting a black cat into their homes. If you needed one more reason to consider a black cat — for those of you who love to wear black clothing, or at least black pants, you won’t see the shedding as easily on your clothes. Just one more reason that black cats are grand.

MHS Pets of the Week are brought to you by The Cimino Family:There are so many great cats right now at MHS and many of them are a mixture of all black, black and white, black and grey and we have long, medium and short hair varieties, all with unique and fantastic personalities. Check out these beauties.

Dove is a 3-year-old spayed female domestic medium hair.

Rosie is a 3-year-old spayed female domestic longhair.

Midnight is a 4-year-old neutered male domestic shorthair.

Ichabod is a 10-week-old neutered male domestic shorthair.

Please come meet these cats and all their friends. Together we can dispel the negative myths on black cats and enjoy them for all their glory.

We are open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday noon to 6 p.m. and closed on Sunday.

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