It was a cold and grey Saturday in early November. While the clouds threatened snow on that day, my heart will always feel warm when I think back on it. We had already been to three adoption events that morning, and we had decided to take a break for lunch. We saw dozens of cats and kittens, but I just couldn’t find the one that would be the perfect fit for my family. After my large ginger cat had to leave us, my tuxedo cat was left alone all day long while we were at work. He was a very social guy, and it broke my heart to think about him being left alone like that for so long. It had been almost a year, and I thought it was finally time. I already had a room set up and ready with everything I needed to welcome a new cat into my home.I think my husband was ready to call it quits for the day, but he noticed me picking dejectedly at my salad and rallied us together to drive across town to try one more place.
We went into the pet supply store to check out the last adoption event running that day. In the very front was a large cage that held a tiny, single kitten. Most of the other cages were empty- the cats all adopted out already or their foster parents had packed up and left. A mom and daughter stood patiently nearby, and their faces lit up when we got near and started to pet the kitten. This was kitten's foster family. They took the little kitten out of the cage, put it in my arms, and directed me over to an area they had set up to allow for play. My husband started talking to the fosters, but I didn’t hear a word they were saying. This little kitten had me wrapped around his little paw. I grabbed a teaser toy and drug it along the floor, expecting the little fella to pounce on it and chase it around. He tilted his head in interest for a moment, but then turned his big eyes back to me, walked pointedly over, and curled up in my lap to take a nap. That was it. I was his human.
When filling out the adoption paperwork with the fosters, they mentioned how this kitten was the best behaved and most snuggly one of the litter. All the kitten’s brothers and sisters were adopted out and in their new homes, but this little guy, the one who was the best of the bunch, was the last one left. This story is not uncommon for cats in Binx’s situation. You see, Binx is a black cat. While I find his personality to be charming, and often find myself getting lost in his baby soft fur and golden eyes, it seems that others are not so easily bewitched. Many agencies report low and slow adoption rates for black cats and dogs. Black cats get a particularly bad rap, with superstitions and ideas of bad luck being brought to mind. Some shelters and foster agencies will not even allow black cats to be adopted during the month of October, due to fears of abuse.
I cannot imagine my life without Binx. He is my shadow. If I close a door, he patiently sits and waits for me. He likes to play fetch and have adventures, as well as snuggle up to binge watch our favorite shows and movies. If I am feeling sick or am in pain, he is there, purring in my lap. He is the first face that greets me every morning, and he walks me to my bedroom every night. It is my sincerest wish that people can learn to look past aesthetics when selecting companion animals, so that they do not miss out on the opportunity to spend time with an amazing creature.
Have I convinced you to consider adopting a black cat? If not, I hope my coworkers and fellow members of the Black Cat Club can!
“I don’t currently have a black cat, but we did at one time. Her name was Baby Ursula (my step-daughter got her as a kitten when she was a little girl and wanted to name the kitten Baby, but was also hugely fascinated with Little Mermaid at the time).
Baby was always very independent and very much a hunter type. At the time, they lived in California, so Baby was a bit of an outdoor cat and loved stalking critters. She even managed to catch a hummingbird once in her mouth mid-leap.
Later, when Baby came to live with us in Minnesota, she very much became daddy’s girl, always laying by me on the couch or as nearby as she could get without actually being a lap cat. She loved petting and attention and she was never bad luck.
She was the first cat we had that I cried over when we had to put her to sleep at the age of 19. I’ll always remember her velvety black fur, her golden eyes and her cantankerous attitude.”
“I just moved to a new house. A big garden filled with strange plants, the first house on the block ready for Halloween, and a black cat? I instantly became the new resident spooky lady.”
Today, we fight back against stigma, and celebrate black cats everywhere. For those of you that have black cats, don’t forget to give them a few extra scratches and snuggles today. For those of you who do not or cannot have a black cat, you can still join in the celebrations. Make a gift of time or financial support to your favorite companion animal charity and take a victory lap by watching some of our favorite black cats featured in Pop Culture. Who knows, if you are thinking about adopting a black cat, this may help you find the perfect name!