When you see a black cat, what do you think of? Halloween and witches? Your impending doom and bad luck? Your newfound chances at landing a boyfriend? When it comes to black cats, there is no shortage of myths and superstitions. Well, if your curious about these inky felines and the truth behind them, you’ve come to the right place! Here are 25 Facts About Black Cats That Are Absolutely Purrfect!
There is more than 1 breed of cat that can be solid black. Just how many? 22. However, when most people thing of a black cat, they're thinking of the Bombay.
Bombay cats were bred specifically to look like panthers. Who was responsible? Louiville, KY breeder Nikki Horner. Bombays are known to be outgoing and playful.
Ever wonder how black cats got their bad rap in so many cultures? Some say it goes back to ancient Greece. The goddess Hera, Zeus's wife, wanted to prevent the birth of baby Hercules (who was a product of her husband's affair with princess Alcmene). Alcmene's servant prevented Hera's plan from going through. As punishment, Hera turned this servant into a black cat and sent her to serve the goddess of death and witchcraft. Any black cat, therefore, could be this servant of the goddess of death and witchcraft.
Starting in the Middle Ages, these sleek felines became associated with witches, witchcraft, and Satan. The connection? Apparently the ostracized women who were "guilty" of witchcraft took care of alley cats. The black cats, in turn, were thought to be taking part in the black magic of these so-called witches.
What's more, witches were soon thought to be able to actually transform into a black cat. The story goes that a man and his son threw stones at a black cat that had crossed their paths. The cat escaped into a woman's house, who at the time was suspected to be a witch. The next day, the man and his son came across the woman, and she was limping and bruised. Obviously, she was the cat they had taken shots at the day prior.
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To further aggravate the issue, Pope Gregory XI published a document in 1233 that stated black cats were the incarnation of Satan. As cats are nocturnal and many pagan rituals are conducted at night, cats became associated with paganism as well...a group the early church was attempting to eradicate.
Other superstions surrounding black cats in the middle ages include the belief in Finland that black cats carried the souls of the dead into the afterlife. In Germany, if a black cat jumped on the bed of a sick person, it meant that that person was going to die.
Despite the fact that black cats are often considered an omen of bad luck, in many places of the world, they are actually considered good and lucky. For instance, in much of Europe and parts of Asia, black cats bring financial fortune and good harvest.
Black cats can even represent good luck in finding many suitors and bless marriages. In fact, in some cultures, giving a bride a black cat on her wedding day will bring good luck. they're also said to bring a long happy life to the happy couple.
While it's debated whether black cats are good luck or bad luck to humans, it seems having a black coat is good luck for the cat. Studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health revealed that the same genetic mutations that give the cat a fully black coat also help protect them from some diseases.
Black cats can change color. Their tabby stripe gene combined with hanging out in the sun for a while will cause the sun to break down the pigment in their fur to reveal a rusty brown color. Basically, black cats can rust.
Sailors have been another group who consider black cats welcome friends. Not only do they help with mice, but they also are thought to ensure a safe trip home.
Why do some black cats have golden eyes? It's the result of melanism, which is essentially the opposite of albinism. There is so much melanin that it causes their eyes to be that golden color. As you know though, not all black cats have this trait.
Just like humans get gray or white hair with age, black cats get white patches with age. At least you know that you're not the only one!
A black cat holds the Guinesse World Record for world's richest cat. The once stray cat became beneficiary of his rich owner's estate when she died...all $13 million of it!
Statistically, there are more male black cats than female. Why? Not only is the fur pigmentation a bit more dominant in males, superstition states that male black cats also give more good luck. They are more likely to be kept than the females in some parts of the world.
In order to breed a truely pure black cat, you need to have two black cat parents with a dominant gene. Remember how we said their tabby-gene can cause them to rust? Well, since tabby is typically a dominant fur pattern, both parents need to have the black fur gene in order to produce a black kitten.
Ever dream of a black cat? Well, you're in luck! ...probably. While some dream theorists deam a black cat in your dreams as good luck, other theorists argue that you might be afraid to follow your intuition.
There's more than one myth out there regarding humans and black cats. For instance, the druids believed that a black cat was a reincarnated human, being punished for misdeeds from their human life.
Here is a cool fact: Freyja, the goddess of love, beauty, and magic had a charriot pulled by black cats!
The number 1 Halloween costume for children is a black cat. Oddly enough, it's also the number 1 costume for women in their freshman year of college.
Find this costume here.
There's a rumor out there that animal adoption agencies have a harder time finding homes for black cats than any other color cat. However, upon research, the data used to support this myth is skewed. In truth, there are more black cats turned into shelters than any other color. Since there are many more black cats up for adoption, it only makes sense that not all of them will be adopted, and more will be "left over," making it look like not as many people want them.
Because of the stigma behind black cats, many animal shelters won't place black cats in homes. They fear that some of them may be used for sacrifical purposes.
Remember how we said black cats are considered very lucky in parts of the world? Well, in Japan they have an entire cafe dedicated to them. Black cats roam and play, and you are free to pet them while you sip your tea
Want to visit? Check out their webpage for more info.
Have we convinced that black cats are pretty cool? There is actually not just 1, but 2 days to celebrate these awesome felines! August 17th is National Black Cat Appreciation Day & National Black Cat Day is November 17th!
photos: feature: shutterstock, 25. pixabay (public domain), 24. Bruce McAdam from Reykjavik, Iceland, Black Panther by Bruce McAdam, CC BY-SA 2.0, 23. wikimedia commons (public domain), 22. pixabay (public domain), 21. pixabay (public domain), 20. wikimedia commons (public domain), 19-18. pexels (public domain), 17. shutterstock, 16. pixabay (public domain), 15. max pixel (public domain), 14. wikimedia commons (public domain), 13. max pixel (public domain), 12-11. pixabay (public domain), 10. pixnio (public domain), 9. Bombaycats, Bombay Katzen of Blue Sinfonie, CC BY-SA 3.0, 8. Ralph Daily via flickr, CC BY 2.0, 7. G41rn8, Dazu 2007 706, CC BY-SA 4.0, 6. Wikimedia commons (public domain), 5. via amazon, 4. Galawebdesign, Black cat Animal Rescue GalawebDesign, CC BY-SA 3.0, 3. max pixel (public domain), 2. via animalcafes.com, Nekobiyaka, Japan (fair use: illustrative use only, no free images), 1. Max pixel (public domain)