• Shelby McDaniel

The Tiny Panther in Your Living Room

There are hardly any Halloween symbols more popular than black cats. These tiny panthers are depicted as spooky (and sometimes sassy) companions to witches. Of course, black cats are purrfect companions for anyone.

Unfortunately, these kitties have received a bad image due to superstition and outdated myths. Billings Animal Family Hospital, a veterinary practice in Montana, published an article about the myths and facts concerning black cats, "Stories of black cats, thought to be evil spirits, being sacrificed into fires during the celebration of the Lord of the Dead on October 31 can be found about 2,000 years back in Druid circles."

The article went on to add, "In the Middle Ages, it was a commonly held belief that witches could disguise themselves as black cats and these dark felines became associated with witchcraft."

Even though the witchcraft scare is long gone, the stigma has still remained attached to black cats, along with a new problem. Finding homes for black cats (and dogs) has proven difficult for many shelters and adoption agencies.

In a Telegraph article published in 2018, they address the issue of people choosing other breeds of cats over black ones because they simply don't photograph as well. Christine Bayka, the owner of a cat rehoming center interviewed in the article, stated, "Now everybody wants to take selfies and put them on Facebook. It's a very narcissistic use of social media."

The fact of the matter is black cats are neither bad luck nor bad Instagram models. Simply checking out hashtags such as #blackcatsofinstagram disproves such myths. However, choosing a pet based on how many likes you think you will get on social media is deplorable. If that is your motivation for adopting a pet, you might want to think again.

The ancient Egyptians had the right idea when it came to cats. Cats are wonderful companions, no matter the color of their fur. If you are looking for a new addition to your family, visiting your local shelter is always a great place to find a new furry friend. There are thousands of cats that need a forever home, you could give a tiny panther a chance at an amazing life.


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