National Black Cat Day
With four days left until Halloween, National Black Cat Day is a day to celebrate a pet that’s been given a bad rep throughout the centuries and which is one of the biggest symbols of Halloween, along with pointy hats, pumpkins and spider webs.
We’re of course talking about Banjo’s black cat cousins!
National Black Cat Day was originally started by the Cats Protection charity to raise awareness of the absolute cuteness of black cats. When the campaign was initially launched in 2011, statistics revealed that black and black-and-white cats took, on average, seven days longer to find a home compared to cats of other breeds and made up 45% of all cats coming into their shelters.
Luckily, celebrating National Black Cat Day across the UK has had a huge impact, and black cats now spend on average 21% less time in the organisation’s care than they did before the campaign. YAY!
So, let’s put our myth busters costumes on and get rid of the negative stereotypes surrounding black cats!
Are you sure I don’t have to take 3 steps back when a black cat crosses my path?
Short answer: definitely YES!
These fluff balls have nothing to do with bad luck but they’ve definitely become a symbol of it. From the medieval belief that they were all the pets of witches to a modern-day fear that deems them unlucky to walk by, they’ve been stuck with superstition for a long time. In fact, prior to the Middle Ages in Europe when black cats became associated with witches they were worshipped by many ancient cultures.
It was thought that black cats were the cause of bad luck, as they were reincarnated witches in feline form. The hysteria of witches practising black magic struck European cities during these times, and alley cats were often cared for and fed by the women who were later accused of witchery.
This is where the idea began to develop that if a black cat crosses your path, something bad will happen which still carries on today.
If black cats are not omens of bad luck, what are they?
Well, first of all, they are absolutely ADORABLE!
But, since we’re on the theme of black cat myths, there are actually loads of countries and regions of the world that actually view black cats as a symbol of luck and abundance!
- In parts of England, a black cat as a wedding gift is thought to bring good luck to the bride.
- Owning a black cat in Asia is considered lucky.
- In Scotland, if a black cat appears on your doorstep it is seen as a sign of prosperity.
- In the south of France, black cats are referred to as ‘matagots’ or ‘magician cats’ and according to local superstition, feeding and treating them well will bring good luck to the owner.
- In Northern Europe, taking in and caring for a black cat can ensure fair weather and safe passage during voyages on the sea. This is why black cats were actually the most common cat found on ships!
- If you hear a black cat sneeze in Italy, you’re in for a streak of good luck.
- Black cats are a symbol of good luck in Japan and if someone sees a black cat crossing their path, they say ‘Konichiwa’ and take control of their own luck.
So have fun celebrating National Black Cat Day today and think about your good fortune next time one crosses your path.
Raising a glass of milk to cats of all colours,
Banjo HQ x