Our Halloween Special blog is tied in with Black Cat Awareness Month and National Black Cat Day! Here are some interesting black cats that may change the way you think about our black furry friends…
Ask people what they think about black cats and you will get different answers. They are mischievous and clever. They are unlucky and treacherous. They are sweet and sweet and make the best children. One thing is for sure: these dark-haired cats are definitely misunderstood.
The Halloween season is in full swing, and the image of a black cat can be seen everywhere. From decorations to costumes for all ages, black cats capture our imaginations and often conjure up images of witches and creepy crawlies at night. Seeing the luxurious dark fur of a black cat against a bright orange pumpkin is truly breathtaking, but there’s a lot more to our favorite Ebony Furies than meets the eye.
Black Cats Are Bad Luck! Or Are They?
In many parts of the world, black cats can herald good luck. In Japan, black cats can bring love and luck. An English bride who receives a black cat as a gift will have a happy marriage while seeing a cat on your doorstep in Scotland means prosperity is on the way. The French call black cats “Money Cats” and treating them with respect can bring wealth. British sailors often brought cats on board to deal with rats, but keeping a black cat could also ensure a safe return to shore. Fishermen’s wives keep black cats at home for the same reason.
Black Cats Were Gods
Black cats were once worshipped as Gods, in ancient Egypt, the black cat was the physical embodiment of the goddess Bastet, a woman with the head of a black cat who watched over the crops, women, and the home. Cats perform similar functions on land and are often adorned with jewelry and treated like royalty. Black cats were also special to the goddess Isis and were cared for in her temples. Every home had a cat, temples were dedicated to it, and killing a cat was a crime punishable by death. Cats were also mummified just like humans, showing their importance to the ancient Egyptians.
In Celtic culture, the story of Cait Sidhe was born, a magical black cat with a white patch on its chest known as the fairy king of cats. Legend has it that if you leave milk for Cait Sidhe on Samhain or Halloween night, he will bless your home. Maybe that’s why black cats are associated with Halloween and maybe even why we leave the milk and cookies to another Christmas-friendly character.
One In 22!
The Cat Fanciers’ Association has recognized 22 breeds that can produce a thick, black coat. From the fluffy fur of the long-haired Persian, Norwegian Forest Cat, and Ragamuffin to the short Scottish Fold and Japanese Bobtail, these black cats are very distinctive. But perhaps the most well-known variety is the Bombay.
Developed in the 1950s by crossing a black American Shorthair with a sable Burmese, the Bombay resembled a miniature black leopard. This slender, short-haired cat is the only cat breed that is always jet-black in color, and its bright eyes definitely evoke images of its larger cousins.
Black Cat Imposters!
While the tabby coat gene is the most predominant pattern in a cat’s DNA, the black gene is the most predominant pattern for coat color. This means that when two cats with the black fur gene produce offspring, those genes will override the tabby pattern gene, producing a firmer black coat. Even if one of these genes is recessive, if both parents carry the black gene, their offspring are more likely to be black. This means that there are more black cats than cats of other colors.
A Witches Companion
Cats were often cared for and fed by poor, lonely women accused of witchcraft, which gave them a bad reputation.
Black cats were considered particularly desirable companions for witches due to their ability to remain invisible in the dark. As witch hunts became more popular, many superstitions regarding black cats began to emerge.
Fortunately, witchcraft is now less of a concern, so these beautiful black kittens can rest in peace.
The melanistic gene that causes melanism does more than just provide black fur and a stronger immune system. Excess melanin also gives these kittens their characteristic golden to coppery amber color that we know. Although the Bombay cat was bred to retain these colors, there are other black cat breeds that may have been given a dominant gene for green or blue eyes. This rare black kitten is truly a unicorn.
On the lab glass: Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have discovered that the genetic mutation that causes a cat’s coat to turn black also protects it from certain diseases.
Because cats suffer from the same health problems as humans, some such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, experts believe that studying these fascinating cats could eventually help humanity fight back these diseases.
Awesome‚ a coat that not only looks good but also makes black cats (and maybe us) feel good too!
October 27th is National Black Cat Day
Just days before Halloween, National Black Cat Day is your chance to show your love for the most misunderstood member of the feline kingdom. Show your dark-clad best friend a little love and affection to remind them how special they are.
Feel free to leave photos of your furry black furbabies in the comments section, we would love to see them!
We hope you enjoyed this Halloween Special! Thanks for reading, until next time…