National Black Cat Day was launched by Cats Protection on 27 October 2011 to celebrate the beauty of black cats! Cats Protection's research showed that black cats took on average 7 days longer to be adopted than any other colour of cat. In fact, animal shelters in the UK and the US report that black cats are the hardest colour to home. The RSCPA said that 70% of the felines it cares for are either black or black and white, and the charity Blue Cross claimed it has seen a 65% rise in the number of black cats being taken into their care. A spokesperson for the RSPCA explained that there is an array of reasons people give for disinterest in rehoming a black cat, ranging from the fact black cats are harder to tell apart to black cats being harder to photograph than other moggies.
Superstition tells us that black cats are unlucky, but did you know that throughout history and across many cultures, black cats were actually related to positive things. For example, in sailing, having a black kitten on a ship is said to calm the sea and the wind, making for a smoother, safer journey. In England, if a black cat visits your hotel, you are encouraged to welcome the cat to stay, as it is believed they will bring more patrons. In England it is also believed that if a black cat walks in front of you, the cat is said to take your troubles with them. In Scotland, it is believed that placing black kittens on your porch will attract positive events and repel misfortune. In Early America, they believed that black cats had magical powers in their bones, which attracted power and good fortune.
The statue of Hodge (image via The Dabbler)
In fact, there are many popular cats that can be seen throughout popular media and history. From witches familiars to cartoon companions, we've probably all seen a famous black cat. One such famous cat is called Hodge. Hodge belonged to English writer Samuel Johnson. The famous writer was the. subject of a biography written for him by James Bowell. Hodge the cat is known mainly for how much he was loved by Johnson. Johnson would purchase oysters for his cat and spoke very highly of him, often showing more love for Hodge than any of his human companions. Hodge has since been immortalised in his own bronze statue located in London outside his master's old house. The sculpture was made by John Bickley who noted his kinship with the author and modelled the statue of Hodge off of his own cat, Thomas. He said "I made Hodge about shoulder height for the average adult, which is just about right for putting an arm around."
We don't know if superstition is true, but what is certain about black cats is that they will offer you the unconditional love and companionship that only a cat can! We encourage everyone to celebrate black cats today and beyond.