Mackenzie Rupp is a freshman telecommunications major and writes for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper.
Growing up I heard stories of black cats running under ladders and breaking mirrors causing bad luck. The person who let me in on the secret witchcraft of black cats also threw salt over their shoulder if a grain of it spilled on any surface but their plate. It is a pretty common superstition to think black cats are a bad omen, but thinking it could cause misfortune or death has led to the substantial decrease in appeal for the furry creatures. Because of this, and several other factors, black cats struggle to get adopted.
My cat’s name is Poppy. She has monster-green eyes and one heck of an attitude, but this one-year-old feline is far from bad luck. When I adopted her, it was “name your price” day at Petsmart, so the line to adopt was nearly out the door. I had to hold Poppy in my arms like a baby for around two hours, and she never moved.
Although she’s gotten sassy, Poppy is still that same kitten I held. My family doesn’t regret adopting a black cat. Poppy has yet to bring us misfortune. She does occasionally bite, but only if we pester her. Adding another cat to the family was a great choice.
Here are five reasons you should adopt a black cat.
Black cats are potentially resistant to diseases
Black fur is caused by melanism, which is caused by gene mutations and by dark coat coloration. A study done in 2003 by Eizirk et al. suggests that this gene mutation can help black cats resist diseases. The gene mutations that cause dark fur are found in the same family of genes involved in a human’s response to human’s diseases.
Scientists aren’t sure what diseases black cats are resistant to, but knowing you have a cat who can avoid certain diseases would be a great stress-reliever.
Ancient Egyptians worshipped black cats
In Ancient Egypt, black cats were representations of the goddess Bastet. Bastet was the protector of women, households, as well as the goddess of fertility and childbirth-and cats. Everyone in Ancient Egypt benefited from Bastet, so cats— especially black ones— were highly respected. Cats were even mummified and left at Bastet's temple. It was also believed that being buried with your cat would mean you and your cat can connect in the afterlife.
So you could tell people that your cat was once a goddess— of course, the cat would probably expect you to treat it like one, but it would be worth it.
Black cats are thought to improve your relationship
In Japan, a woman who owns a black cat can expect to have many suitors. In Japanese culture, if a black cat sneezes near a woman on her wedding day, it means she will have a happy marriage. Black cats are also sometimes given to the happy couple, but usually as an ornamental item instead of the live cat.
If you’re feeling lonely, just adopt a black cat and wait for the potential dates to show up; and when you do marry the sweetheart the cat attracted, make sure to have it sneeze on you on your wedding day.
There's an entire cafe filled with them
There is a cafe in Himeji, Japan called Nekobiyaka that is the only black cat cafe in the world. Nekobiyaka opened in 2013, and has at least 10 cats in the cafe at all times. The cats wear different colored collars so visitors can tell them apart. Ms. Yagi, the owner of the cafe, wants visitors to see that the bad superstitions surrounding black cats are ridiculous. Since Nekobiyaka opened, 321 have “graduated”— or been adopted.
Each time one is adopted, Ms. Yagi adopts another black cat. If you and your black cat are fond of traveling, take them on a trip to Japan to meet the family— and don’t forget to have them sneeze on a bride while you’re there.
Your cat could become a celebrity
Four black cats played the role of Salem, a character on the popular television show “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.” The creators of the show believed in animal rights, so Salem was played by a puppet most of the time. When an actual cat was needed, Salem was played by four cats named Elvis, Lucy, Witch and, of course, Salem. A black cat also starred in the movie Hocus Pocus. Black cats inspired characters in The Simpsons, Coraline, and Cinderella. It would be nice to see the cat doing all the work for a change.
Halloween is today, and the furry felines do make Halloween decor. However, if you do decide to adopt a black cat, please keep them indoors on the holiday. There have been more than enough instances of crimes involving black cats on Halloween. According to PETA, some of the crimes are committed with the intent of harming the black cat as a ritual-sometimes even a sacrifice. Some people adopt black cats to use them as living decorations or part of a costume and then abandon them the next day. It’s rare, but it does happen.
Adopting a new pet is always a commitment. If you do adopt a black cat, make sure you’ve done your research to learn which cat is right for you. There are 22 different breeds of black cats. Each breed will come with its own personality and needs. Cleaning litter boxes, refilling food and water bowls, and paying vet bills is no fun. Watching a cat grow and become a member of your family is worth it.
Contact Mackenzie Rupp at firstname.lastname@example.org or @kenzieer02 on Twitter with questions or comments.