We associate Christmas with Santa Claus and Cupid with Valentine’s Day, but who’s the unofficial mascot of Halloween? Sure, Trick ‘r Treat’s mischievous Sam or A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger could fill the position. There’s another candidate worth serious consideration, however: the black cat!
Through centuries of folklore and superstition, black cats have earned a bad reputation. It’s widely believed that the black cat’s grim reputation originated in Europe in the Middle Ages, where the graceful creatures were considered shapeshifting witches by some, bad omens by others, and pests by nearly everyone.
Often seen as symbols of bad luck or evil, black cats have the power to evoke fear simply by crossing our paths. In some cultures, being passed by a black cat without being harmed implies that a person is being protected by the devil. In order to reverse the macabre message, the person is then encouraged to walk in a circle, go backward across the spot where the cat crossed their path, and count to thirteen. As someone whose cat bolts under the couch at the mere sight of a vacuum cleaner, these precautions sound a bit…excessive.
In Norse mythology, the goddess of fertility doubles as the goddess of cats. Freya, a goddess of the highest order, preferred to travel in a grand chariot pulled by black cats named Bygul and Trjegul. Upon completion of their faithful service to Freya, the cats were rewarded by being turned into powerful witches disguised as black cats.
Today, black cats are widely admired for their complex history and physical beauty. Luna from Sailor Moon, Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Thackery Binx from Hocus Pocus are just a few of the raven-haired felines who have clawed their way to fame. Their shiny coats and hypnotizing yellow-green eyes are worthy of love and respect. That’s why August 17th is National Black Cat Appreciation Day!
Now that you know these fun black cat facts, here are a few ways you can show your appreciation for the black cats of the world.
Dress the Part
Play the role of fabulous feline in this Adult Fierce Feline Catsuit Costume. This soft and sassy cat costume mimics the sleek silhouette of a real black cat.
Donate to a Local Animal Shelter
Black cats can be difficult to adopt around Halloween, as some shelters fear that the amazing animals will be used as props and ultimately discarded. Adoption isn’t the only way you can help to protect black cats, however. Consider donating money, unopened pet food, or cleaning supplies to a local animal shelter in need. Your contribution will be deeply appreciated, and your good deed might just earn you some good luck!
Watch a Famous Feline in Action
It’s movie night! Settle in to watch your favorite black cat in action. We love Thackery Binx in Hocus Pocus! If you’re lucky enough to be a cat owner yourself, we highly recommend a good fleece blanket to make your viewing experience as cozy as possible. Your cat will love curling up on your lap when you’re wrapped up in this super-soft blanket.
Add a delightfully dark element of style to your space with black cat-inspired décor. This black cat prop will make your guests do a double take! With realistic details like an arched back and mesmerizing eyes, this black cat will look spellbinding among your Halloween décor.
Spread the Word
Black cats have earned a rotten reputation through years of gossip and undeserved hearsay. The best way to reverse this is through word of mouth! Tell your friends and family that black cats are sweet and harmless. These elegant animals are worthy of compassion (and treats) just like every other cat! Have a happy National Black Cat Appreciation Day!