Halloween Weekend Cat Blogging: Black Cat Appreciation

This special Halloween edition of Weekend Cat Blogging is being hosted by Linda and Aggie over at kayaksoup. It is a lovely warm sunny October afternoon here on the left coast, and Luna has some lovely harvest-themed pictures to share:

Here Luna obliges us with the traditional Halloween pose:

Sadly, Halloween can be a difficult time for cats in the United States, especially black kitties. The image of the black cat as “bad luck” or witches' familiars permeate folklore as well as the pop culture and commerce surrounding Halloween. Ritual sacrifice and harm to black cats is largely documented to be an urban legend, but the fiction can influence kids. Indeed, animal killing and abuse does rise around halloween mostly because of “poorly-behaved kids” influenced by the folk and popular images:

Far too often, the animals are tortured and sacrificed during pseudo satanic-based rituals.

“But not by the real religious satanic groups,” [Lillian Dubois-Tercero, president and executive director of Arizona Pet Line] stressed. “They don't sacrifice cats and dogs. It's the idiot juveniles (who are) responsible who don't know what they're doing.”

This is one reason why many shelters control (or ban) adoptions of black cats in the weeks leading up to and immediately after Halloween. However, shelters are trying to minimize another problem faced by black cats around Halloween – people “adopting” them as living decorations, trying to go one better than the ubiquitous paper cutouts. Even if not specifically “hurt,” many of these cats are apparently returned to the shelters after Halloween. Such “shelter whiplash” can be traumatic, and if I were a cat I would lose some of my trust in humans.

About.com has an excellent article on The Perils of Halloween for Black Cats. We join the author in dubbing October as Black Cat Appreciation Month. Of course, here at CatSynth every day is Black Cat Appreciation Day.

So be kind to kitties you meet these week, and keep your own feline companions indoors. Might want to keep an eye on some of those kids, too…

UPDATE (Oct 29): AP has an article today entitled “Black cat adoptions banned on Halloween”, which discusses both the practice as well as potential downsides for already stigmatized black cats:

Janet, a black cat up for adoption, pauses on a wall ledge at the Kootenai Humane Society, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2006, in Hayden, Idaho. The Kootenai Humane Society is prohibiting all black cat adoptions from mid-October to Nov. 2, fearing the ebony animals could be mistreated as a Halloween prank, or worse, be used in a satanic sacrifice. (AP Photo/ Kirk Mastin)

Doesn't Janet look a lot like Luna? Such a sweet face…

4 thoughts on “Halloween Weekend Cat Blogging: Black Cat Appreciation

  1. Luna does look beautiful in her Autumn poses. Let's all celebrate a Safe and Happy Halloween for the children and all the cats.
    I had read that article from A/P News Source about shelter cats. We practice that rule here as well. I have a black kitty, but unfortunately the little black kittens are usually the last kittens to be adopted at most shleters. We are trying hard to promote Black Cats as Good Luck as they are in the sea villages of England.
    Happy Autumn.
    Bonnie in Virginia

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