On Black Cat Appreciation Day, August 17, black cats could use a good spin doctor. They’re so sleek and seductive with their all-knowing yellow eyes, but black cats seldom get positive press even though they’re just as adorable as other cats. So, who’s to blame for this negative black cat spin? Superstition! During the Middle Ages, people (mainly the Catholic Church) saw witches as shape-shifting black cats and the damage was done.
Today pop culture loves black cats. There’s the sarcastic Thackery Binx in “Hocus Pocus”, Salem, in “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” and Pyewacket in the classic”Bell, Book and Candle.” It’s National Black Cat Appreciation Day with big ups to America’s sultry, mysterious and mostly, sweet black cats!
National Black Cat Appreciation Day timeline
"Hocus Pocus" premieres with one of its stars being a black cat named Binx.
Cartoon cat appears for the first time
Felix the Cat debuts in "Feline Follies."
- Middle Ages
Black cats are reputedly "familiars" to witches
During the Spanish Inquisition, the Catholic Church associated black cats with witchcraft.
National Black Cat Appreciation Day Activities
Visit the Nekobiyaka Cat Café
This Japanese café pays tribute to black cats, letting them roam throughout the restaurant for guests to enjoy. Pay $10 to spend an hour with the kitties and order some soda or beer while you’re there. Guests are not allowed to pick up or hold the cats, but customers can pet them. Each cat wears a different color bandana so you can tell them apart.
Adopt a black cat
As unbelievable as this sounds, black cats are about half as likely to be adopted as other cats! This is silly but true. Show some love to a homeless or abused black cat or kitten by contacting your local animal shelter to find one in need of a good home.
Read Edgar Allen Poe’s, “The Black Cat”
The Saturday Evening Post originally published Poe’s short story back in 1843. It's one of the author's darkest tales — dealing with the psychology of guilt.
Why We Love National Black Cat Appreciation Day
Black cats are good luck charms
Luckily, many cultures cherish black cats. In Scottish lore, good tidings would follow if a black cat came to your house. Fishermen often kept black cats on their boats, believing them to bring good luck.
Black cats are unique
Their eyes are yellow and their hair can gray with age. Some scientific research reveals that a black cat's hair can help their immune system because the genetic mutation for hair color makes the cat less likely to contract feline immunodeficiency virus.
Black cats inspire Halloween costumes
Black pants? Black top? Homemade or store-bought black ears? Then you, my friend, have got yourself a Halloween costume. You can kick it up a notch by drawing on a nose, whiskers and a tail. Black cat costumes are good for those last-minute, need something-to-wear situations that can pull any masquerade look together.