Sunday, August 17, 2014

In Praise of Black Cats

I have had a lot of cats in my life. Growing up on a farm, many of them were "working cats, "there to keep the rodent population in check. And of course, as is the case with many farms, cats were dumped at the end of our long laneway by city-dwellers who no longer wanted their pet or their pet's offspring.

Though I was very attached to some of the working cats, the relationship could not be the same as with an indoor cat, and it was only in my 20s that I lived with indoor cats.

My favourite, by far, was a tom named Butch. I didn't name him. Butch was the greatest cat ever. I have to confess that I like cats that act a bit more like dogs: ones that greet you at the door when you come home, are always up for a game or a cuddle and frankly, just seem to like me. Butch was this and more. And he was pure jet black.
Me circa 1985 with the greatest cat ever—
who happens to be black. 

It surprises me that black cats are not more popular today. The old myths about black cats are no longer a part of our culture. I would have thought that any long-passed occult association would be a plus today with the popularity of Harry Potter and the many other witch/wizard/vampire franchises. I would have thought black cats would be cool.

It seems to me that black cats are more feline—black highlighting a sinewy elegance that so many people admire. Like a panther. Only a lot smaller.

Here at the OHS, by the end of the summer, with so many cats admitted, cared for, and transferred to adoptions, invariably the number and percentage of black cats rises, as their white, tabby, tuxedo and other cat friends are adopted, while the black ones remain waiting for someone to fall in love with them.

I hate to think that the next greatest cat ever might be overlooked, just because of the colour of his fur.

Bruce Roney
Executive Director

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