Really, any day is a good day to adopt a black cat, but at a time of year when so many kittens are overloading shelters, consider how happy you’d make a purring and affectionate house panther to get out of there to a home of its own. Or two house panthers. Or, well…wouldn’t everyone want a house full of glossy black fur and sparkling amber and emerald eyes? After living with a house full of all changing patterns and colors for decades I love the symmetry of this household and every day, in every photo and sketch and reference to them, I hope to inspire others to take a second look at black cats in shelters and rescues, on websites and on the internet.
Yes, that rich black fur does seem to hold a mystery, and the contrast of bright eyes like gems in that fur is positively enchanting. Each day a spell is cast upon me by one or more black cats, and I am helpless to resist their charms… Certainly if black cats had some particular magic effect on humans I’d be experiencing the effects five-fold—even ten-fold at some points in the past year! I admit, I feel a great amount of creative inspiration. Feels like magic to me.
But perhaps other humans aren’t subject to their charms, or they need a greater dose of black cat charisma to get the full effect because black cats are often passed over for adoption at shelters and rescues. Let’s try this.
I know we all think our own fur children are each the most beautiful in the whole world, but sometimes Mr. Sunshine absolutely leaves me speechless with his beauty. But if you saw him in a cage at a shelter, or on an adoption website, you wouldn’t see all the tones in his fur, the delicate details of his nose and mouth, his exotic slanted eyes and those long, long whiskers. Those fine house panthers looking for a home don’t have the advantage Mr. Sunshine does when presenting himself even with the best photography, so when you consider adopting a cat and see a black cat available for adoption, think of Mr. Sunshine in all his exquisite beauty and know that the black cat you are looking at really looks more like this underneath. And who could think these two were in any way threatening?
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Friday the 13th of any month is one of those days when superstitions edge up a bit, and black cats have always been somehow related to it all.
It may be superstition, or fear of an animal whose shape and shiny black fur pricks our instinctive fear of wild animals who are black such as panthers, bears and snakes. Because they are black their bright eyes and white teeth contrast with the depths of their fur and their gaze may appear to be a menacing glare instead of a curious and intelligent expression, their yawn may look like a snarl. Seeing the reactions of visitors to me and my friendly cats over the years, the reaction to gray and white Namir’s slanted green eyes was usually, “Isn’t he handsome!” and an immediate affection session ensued while often the reaction to Giuseppe with the same expression was, “Why is that cat staring at me?” even from people who knew cats. Even now when up to seven black cats greet visitors, eagerly reaching to touch them and make contact, I see a little hesitation and surprise, but perhaps that’s just the overwhelming effect of all those black cats all at once!
Really, I think it’s because they are simply hard for our eyes to figure out—they are dark and we often can’t see familiar details like noses and cheekbones and even whiskers, and if they are curled we often can’t see the familiar shape of a cat’s body. Also, the human eye is drawn to color and pattern, and all those torties and calicoes and tabbies and spotted cats are visually interesting at first glance, where it takes a bit to look over a black cat and orient ourselves to that same feline shape beneath. How quickly do you spot Mimi in the photo below?
I’m not one to think coat color and personality have much in common any more than human skin color indicates personality. Many people say black cats are friendlier and more intelligent than other cats, bit I think that’s only because those people have had a spell cast on them by a black cat, the spell of love from having shared their life with a black cat, and it’s only natural to elevate those we love to a higher pedestal than all else around.
Each day on The Creative Cat I do my best to present my five wonderful black cats and all my black fosters, literally, in the best light. I love to show off my fur children and share my inspirations, but especially since the five have been with me I’ve found an opportunity to do even more, to show these wonderful cats in their everyday life, and I also included our geriatric sister, Emeraude of the exotic emerald eyes. It’s been a challenge in the six years they’ve been with me, to use natural light and natural settings to share their beauty with anyone who will look and hope that any last vestiges of fear or superstition or a sense of unfamiliarity can be dispelled by seeing these five black cats simply being a bunch of happy, friendly cats. I do have a category for “black cats” which today holds over 2,000 posts of photos, art and stories, and in the category list you can also choose any of the black cats who’ve lived with me and see posts that feature them, or you can simply scroll through my posts each day and you’ll quickly get your fill of black cats—and you’ll want to adopt one immediately, I’m sure!
And that’s a good thing because shelters and rescues often have “black cat adoption” specials in the fall when we really do find many black cats still waiting for their forever home. I regularly feature black kittens and adults cats in my “cats for adoption” posts. You can go right now and check the Facebook page for Pittsburgh C.A.T. and also check our Petfinder profile to see at least a dozen black cats and kittens for adoption, and we also have a few entire litters of black kittens and mom cats in foster who will be ready for adoption in June. Get your home ready for a family of house panthers!
For a very interesting article on the myths and legends of black cats, read “The Black Cat: Myth, Mystery and Symbolism” by Sally Bahner.