Halloween is within our reach and everyone I know is getting in the spirit. I love Halloween. I love all the pumpkins, the costumes, Hocus Pocus, and how everyone reconnects with their inner kid to partake in candy consumption and make-believe magic. Halloween is most certainly one of my favorite days of the year.
As everyone is getting in the spirit, old superstitions are bound to arise. I think it’s safe to say that in 2016, most of these stories and legends are taken for fun. There is one, however, that seems to persist and often affects those living in the present, and that is the Curse of the Black Cat.
The black cat is inarguably one of the most recognized and celebrated figures of Halloween. We decorate with black cats, we dress up as black cats, Hocus Pocus even stars a black cat. But the myth still remains: black cats are bad luck.
This morning, I woke up to this:
This was posted on Buzzfeed’s SnaptChat Story. Now, Buzzfeed is huge. I know they meant this to be fun, a way to get in the Halloween spirit. But it still made me sad, because it perpetuates that age old stigma that black cats are evil, black cats are witches, black cats are cursed. Even if there weren’t several studies that state that black cats are the most likely to be overlooked and euthanized in the shelter, I’ve seen the fear of black cats first hand.
I used to volunteer in an animal shelter in college. I was in playing with the cats one day (because cats are my favorite) and a preteen girl and her dad walked in. She walked right up to one cage and gasped.
“An evil black cat!”
She was absolutely serious.
I don’t really get up in arms about a whole lot. I’m a pacifist. I don’t like to argue and I don’t like to make a big deal out of most things. But I love black cats. I have a black cat. And it breaks my heart that they’re still feared, still overlooked, still abandoned.
My sweet girl, Midnight, is my best friend. And she’s had to beat some pretty remarkable odds. She herself was abandoned in the streets. She was terrified of people when she found us. Even now, eleven years later, it kills me to think of all she must have gone through. She’s my baby. She’s also one of the lucky ones. She has a home and a loving family. She’ll never go hungry. She’ll never want for attention. She has her own Papasan chair that was actually supposed to be mine but she has since decided otherwise.
I know Buzzfeed didn’t mean any harm. Heck, they have a whole article about what makes black cats so awesome. Still, I had to say something. I’m afraid I don’t advocate for very much. I’ve just never felt it’s my place. But I love my black cat, and I would love nothing more than to see every black cat out there adopted into a loving home. That goes for every homeless animal, actually. They deserve our love far more than we deserve theirs.