Witches’ companions and bringers of good or bad luck – for centuries, black cats have played a major role in folklore, mythology and superstition. And, perhaps because of this, many cat re-homing charities find it’s these unfortunate moggies which often get left behind.
But today, October 27, Cats Protection, which has branches near to Sedgley, has launched its Black Cat Awareness Day campaign, which it hopes will redress the balance for these forgotten felines.
According to the charity, black cats are often overlooked by would-be adopters and many of them remain in its care for longer than others.
And, to really get people’s attention, the charity is running a social media campaign, but needs the support of others to make it a success.
A spokesperson for Cats Protection says: “We want to see a show of solidarity for these misunderstood felines, so are inviting supporters to share pictures of their black cats now!”
Anyone who wishes to lend support can upload an image of their black cat to the charity’s Facebook page or its Flickr group.
Twitter users can tweet mentioning @CatsProtection or use the hashtag #CPBlackCats
Celebrities who own black cats have also got behind the campaign, including comic and actor David Schneider, author and journalist Jilly Cooper OBE, fashion icon Twiggy Lawson and Simon Tofield, creator of the hilarious internet sensation, Simon’s Cat.
Visit http://www.cats.org.uk/get-involved/black-cat-awareness-day for more information.
Black cats are often associated with witches and Halloween. Here is a selection of popular myths about them:
- Black Cats as witches’ companions. It was largely in the Middle Ages that the black cat became affiliated with evil. Because cats are nocturnal and roam at night, they were believed to be supernatural servants of witches, or even witches themselves.
- Folklore has it that if a witch becomes human, her black cat will no longer reside in her house.
- Some believe that black cats are witches in disguise, or witches reborn.
- Others believe black cats are witches familiars (beings that aid witches in performing their craft). Not all familiars were black cats though – some were cats of other colours and dogs, pigs, and other animals were also subject to superstition and suspicion.