Black Cat Appreciation Day Is August 17th

posted: 08/17/16
by: Kelly McClure
Black cat in dark close-up
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Black cat in dark close-up

As far back as 3000 BC cats of all breeds, size, and coat color were revered so much that it was considered a capital crime to kill one. For many pet lovers the affection towards cats is still similarly emotional to this day, but even the most soft hearted, even-keeled cat fanatic will, from time to time, give side-eye to one particular sort of cat ... a black cat. All cats get a thrill out of being nasty to people when the mood strikes them, it's part of what makes them such funny, unpredictable pets. Why are black cats singled out as being especially worrisome? Since August 17th is Black Cat Appreciation Day, we thought we'd take a look back at what started this bad reputation.

In the middle-ages black cats began to be associated with witches during a long stretch of time where being called a witch was the worst, and often deadliest, thing that could happen to a person. A general, growing hysteria over witchcraft ran rampant all over the world, but especially in Europe, and in the 1560's a father and son in Lincolnshire began circulating a story about how they were on a walk one night and a black cat ran in front of them. According to this story they threw rocks at it and the cat ran into a house that happened to be owned by a powerful witch. The next day they ran into the witch and she was limping and badly bruised so, naturally, they concluded that the black cat who ran in front of them, and who they'd struck with rocks, was the witch and the superstition that witches turn into black cats at night stuck.

For every different culture there's a different view on black cats though. The Scottish are said to believe that if a black cat wanders into your home it's a sign of good luck, and in the English Midlands black cats are sometimes given as wedding presents as a sign of good will and a token of luck for the new bride.

Regardless of your own personal view on the matter, one thing is certain when it comes to black cats - when they roll over and seem to be begging for a belly rub, don't fall for it. It's a trick and you'll probably get bunny-kicked to shreds, which probably isn't the result of witchery, just general nastiness.

Kelly's semi-witchy black cat, Tokyo

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