Second Chance: Black Cats, Good Luck

Second Chance: Black Cats, Good Luck

So what is the deal with Halloween and black cats? Do you people still think that we are the vessels of evil witchcraft or minions of the devil? Seriously? People, this is the 21st century – can we please get over it already?


Yes, black cats have played a major role for centuries in folklore and mythology, but continuing to perpetuate this superstitious mumbo jumbo isn’t helping our cause – to love and be loved. In the immortal words of Groucho Marx, “A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere.”

In reality (or lack thereof) there are nearly as many superstitions about black cats being harbingers of bad luck as there are about us bringing good fortune. For example, in Japan black cats are seen as lucky and in Britain we are often given in token form to brides for good luck. The Scots believe that a strange black cat’s arrival to the home signifies prosperity. And, in a further illustration of how random and nonsensical these “theories” are, in different cultures around the world, other colors and coat patterns are seen as lucky – or not – as well.

Don’t you people remember where the demonizing of black cats got you during the Middle Ages? Yeah that’s right – a massive epidemic of the bubonic plague (referred to as the Black Death because the hysteria to kill all the “evil” black cats led to an explosion in the plague-carrying rat population.

As a homeless (mostly) black cat I must demand that this silliness ends now. It makes you all look a little dim and it doesn’t help my chances of getting adopted. Whether consciously or unconsciously, because of this delusional thinking black cats tend to be overlooked by adopters at shelters and typically spend more time waiting for adoption than our feline shelter-mates of other hues and patterns. I am proof positive of this – I have been waiting longer for adoption than any other cat here at Second Chance – over two years now!

And what is this advising shelters not to adopt black cats out on Halloween because of the potential to fall victim to cult ritual torture or death? Poppycock! There is no evidence whatsoever to support this urban legend which has simply become another challenge that black cats at the shelter have to endure in their attempts to get a loving home they deserve. (Of course it is always recommended to keep any cat safely indoors on Halloween night regardless of coat color because of all the sugar crazed kids running about everywhere.)

My name is Storm  – I am your compass in any storm. I am a charming two-and-a-half-year-young female feline. I arrived over two years ago with my mom and siblings. For whatever reason, I am the only one who hasn’t gotten adopted yet even though I am a very quiet, gentle cat who enjoys other cats and secretly loves human attention. All superstition aside – I can assure you the day you adopt me will be your lucky day…

Vetting the Vet: Dr. Michelle Dally, DVM, J.D. is Medical Director of Second Chance Humane Society. She also has a private practice, Dally Veterinary Medicine, 333 S. Elizabeth Street, Ridgway, Colorado. Her service area is  San Miguel Mesas, Placerville, Ridgway, Ouray, and Montrose. For more on Dr. Dally, go here.

Michelle & Wallowby

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