A bad rap for black cats
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Feb 26, 2007  |  Vote 0    0

A bad rap for black cats

Stratford Gazette

It seems to the local branch of the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) the black cat always gets the bad rap.

And when a thoughtful volunteer came up with a way to remove the stigma of black cats, the Douro Street shelter jumped at the chance.

"I don't know if it's an actual fact, but it seems to us the black cats are always the ones to be overlooked," said Sue Porter, branch manager.

Porter said they have identified a few reasons why black felines always seem to be the last cat standing.

Perhaps dim shelter lighting doesn't allow potential parents to see the unique features of a black cat's face.

Maybe the adopters would rather live on floor 13 then have a black cat cross their path.

Or, maybe there's the chance the superstition is so deeply rooted in our culture, those looking to adopt do not even realize they're discriminating.

"It could be a decision they're making subconsciously," said Porter.

Playing off the ever-growing Red Hat Society, the Perth County OSPCA thought the Black Cat Society would provide potential pet owners with a bit of incentive.

Every new owner of a black cat will automatically become a member of the Black Cat Society and will receive a sheet of lucky superstitions related to black cats.

For cats over six months, owners will also receive $20 in gift certificates for Pet Valu or Feed All.

While there is no hard research to prove black cats are often last to be considered, Porter said many other shelters have had similar experiences.

"Not every person is superstitious, but all shelters have the same problem," said Porter.

"Hopefully this puts a little awareness out there and helps people to think twice."

Those Lucky Black Cats

Think a black cat is bad luck? Here are some "lucky" superstitions and interesting facts about the dark felines, provided by the Perth County OSPCA:

- In Britain and Japan, a black cat crossing your path is considered good fortune.

- In Scotland, an unfamiliar black cat on your porch is a sign of upcoming prosperity.

- On opening night, a black cat in a theatre audience will mean a successful play.

- Fisherman's wives in Yorkshire often kept black cats, as they were said to bring fisherman home safely. Often, black cats were stolen and sold to the highest bidder.

- In the 1600s, Charles I of England owned a black cat he loved and protected. When the cat died, Charles proclaimed his good luck was gone. The next day, he was arrested and charged with high treason.

- Many ancient Egyptian households kept black cats, believing the Goddess Bast - depicted as a black cat - would become part of the cat in spirit, leading to riches.

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