Black Cats Aren’t Bad Luck


Picture by Mars Gifford

By Mars GIfford, Staff Writer

Cats were once worshipped by ancient Egyptians. In fact, killing one was punishable by death. Then, in Medieval Europe, a nasty rumor went around labelling black cats as bad luck. Now, they are less likely to be adopted and are often the victims of abuse, especially around Halloween. Just like witch hunts and unsafe drinking water in the Middle Ages, this superstition needs to be abandoned.

One of my childhood friends had a black cat named Shadow. Although this is one of the most popular names for black cats, it was particularly apt for this one. Shadow hid most of the time, but every once in a while he would sneak up and sit with me. He loved getting his ears scratched and was one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever met, yet Shadow was the last kitten to be adopted from his litter. The only reason my friend got Shadow was that he was a free kitten, in desperate need of a home. Why? Because there is a pesky rumor that black cats are harbingers of bad luck. Shadow was never allowed to go outside. Sure, he was scared of nearly everything and definitely could have been carried away by a large bird, but it was mostly due to the possibility of a teenager from the nearby high school getting a hold of him.

Halloween is about two things: transformation and fear. This year and every year in the future, we can transform the world into a better place — one where every black cat and every person can have a safe and happy home. After all, what creates more fear than uneducated and discriminatory practices? Like most things, the fate of many black cats is unfair, but this is something we can begin to fix with kindness.