Today is National Black Cat Appreciation Day - to honor these lovely house panthers and raise awareness that black cats (and dogs) are the last to get adopted and the first to be euthanized in most shelters across the US.
The reasons are many - they don't photograph well indoors, don't show up well in cages, and have superstitions concerning them dating to medieval ages. We need to tell people how great black cats (and dogs) are!
Black cats have a long history. They were probably the first color variety to arise from the ancestral tabby. The black mutation is thought to have originated in the eastern Mediterranean and the cats then spread by Phoenician traders. Today the highest concentration of black cats are found in Britain, northwest Africa, the Mediterranean, Rome and Florence.
We know how terrific black cats are since we had a whole feral colony of black cats at one time. Sadly only three are left - Sweetpea, Mamacita and Rosa. It is so silly how people think black cats are bad luck. We love ours and each one has been so very different in personality and size.
|Sweetpea a few years back
House panther, Sweetpea is our tiny girl at less than five pounds. She is 17 and our only long haired black cat. She was the first one we took indoors. To read her gotcha story go here. Even as tiny as she is, she is feisty and a wriggler if she does not want to be held. She loves to play on the bed while I make it up.She prefers quiet toys to chase around the house - yarn balls or catnip toys. Lately she enjoys napping on the back porch with Mr Kitty in the mornings. (She is responding well to her herbal hyperthyroid and CRF treatment.)
|Mamacita and Rosa
They have slimmed down in the past few years but I called Mamacita and her daughter Rosa my sumo wrestler cats. Late at night after we have gone to bed, they love to roll on the floor wresting with each other and make loud thumps as they toss each other around. Both are very secretive and come out only if we are quietly watching TV or at feeding times. They will hide under the bed if anyone else comes to visit.
|Mamacita on the porch
Mamacita is 11 and is very shy. She will approach me or Don to sit next to us on the sofa if she wants cuddles. If you try to pet her any other place, she will run away or pull out of reach. She is still chubby and has some issues walking with her front legs. We are treating that with glucosamine. She keeps to herself, preferring Rosa to the other cats.
|Rosa playing hard to get.
Rosa, age 10, has become more outgoing than her mom. She loves to be petted and will meow and turn in circles on the chair for more attention. Eventually she gets too excited and runs off. She loves her mom cat and will lay next to her, kneading her tummy like she was still a kitten. Mamacita still spends a lot of time grooming her and they are very close. The story of how we came to have these two girls is here.
So in honor of this special day, please consider adopting a black cat (or dog) from a shelter. You will be saving a life.