Black Cats Are Coming Out of the Shadows


I’ve never understood the “black cats are bad luck” thing. After all, I share my home with two black cats (and one gray tabby with white boots and mittens, but that’s another story for another time), and for as long as I can remember I’ve been drawn to them.

From Castor and Pollux, the black cats my mother adopted from our local shelter, to Maddy Gold, a shiny ebony-coated girl who spent the first few weeks of her life at our home hiding in the shadows underneath our sofa, to Sinad and Siouxsie, whom I adopted from a friend of my mother’s, to Dahlia, the youngest member of my feline family — I’ve rarely been without at least one black cat in my life.

It never ceases to amaze me that some people still believe those scary tales about black cats. Hangovers from the Spanish Inquisition and beliefs about black cats as spirits of the dead or that a black cat crossing your path is bad luck have no place in modern society.

To my delight, more and more people are catching on to the unique nature and grace of black cats and coming forward to paint my beloved beauties in a new light.

Photographer Deb McGuire and the Pet Hui have come together to create a short video that explains the origins of harmful superstitions about black cats and shares the facts about black cats: basically, they’re no different from other cats, except that they have a harder time getting adopted.

Midnight-furred Catster Raddy (who’s now on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge) inspired his person, Janet West, to write a novel about his life called Granddad Conrad: The Magnificent and Revolting, which will be available for purchase this Halloween.

The Facebook group Black Cats are NOT Bad Luck has more than 2,800 members who share photos of their beloved black babies, listings of black cats that need rescue, and articles about black cats from all over the world.

Black Cat Rescue, based near Boston, Mass., has a large network of foster homes to help fulfill its special mission to find loving homes for black cats.

Although the superstitions are silly, there are some tough facts about living with black cats. First of all, it’s easy to trip over them if you’re walking around in the dark. Secondly, black cats are really hard to photograph. But fortunately, I’ve found ways to overcome these potentially overwhelming challenges: I turn on the lights when I have to walk at night, and I’ve learned a lot about taking pictures of black cats from professional photographers like Devon Cattell, who has provided a wonderful primer on the subject.

Love your black cat. Enjoy her company. And remember to tell everyone you know that Black Is Beautiful!

Here’s that awesome black cat video from Pet Hui:

(In a reader? Watch the video here.)

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