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Musings from the Editor, on Black Cats

Posted by Harry Shubin on

From the Editor’s Desk:  Musings on Black Cats

 Boo Bowl

It’s the end of September as I write this, the leaves are starting to turn, acorns are falling with a force that would send Chicken Little scurrying for the hills, and the Halloween decorations and candy have been out now for at least two weeks.  I’m working on FFGW’s October Newsletter, sitting here with a cup of coffee and a breakfast of cereal in the “BOO” bowl, while Pearl patiently (ok, not so patiently) waits for me to finish so she can have her mandatory couple of licks of milk before I tell her it’s bad for her and rinse the bowl out in the sink. 

The BOO bowl is a leftover from my kids’ younger days, and is adorned with cats on the inside, but surprisingly not black cats – Boo is filled with sleepy tabbies.  I love black cats, and have 4 of them.  As a cat person, with a few too many cat-shaped things in the house, I’ve always liked the Halloween images – after all, what’s not to like about seeing black cats everywhere this time of year?  Taking a step back, though, I realize that those images are anything but positive.  Typically, the cat’s back is arched, the tail is fluffed, the cat is snarling or hissing and the eyes are a frightening shade of orange.  How did black cats become associated with fright, with evil?  If any color of cat was associated with Halloween, shouldn’t it be the black and orange tortie?  Black cats surely need to hire one of those image scrubbers who remove negative stuff about you from the internet… 

For a long time, rescues believed that there was the need for special protection of black cats at Halloween, with some going as far as to halt all adoptions of black cats for the entire month of October.  We’re now learning that is not necessary (see the article later in this newsletter), and that’s a good thing.  Unfortunately, black cats fall into the category of “less adoptable” – a term that, as you’ll elsewhere in this newsletter, is wrong as well.  I’m glad that we no longer give black cats only 11/12ths of the chance other cats have to be adopted. 

The weeks before Halloween are the quiet before the storm, the last bit of time before the hustle and bustle of the holidays starts in earnest.  It’s also a tough time for rescues, as donations, which typically are the greatest around the holidays, are in a valley but costs continue unabated.  FFGW has taken the unusual step this year of twice in recent months asking for donations to address unexpected medical costs, and sending an extra newsletter in addition to our monthly publication asking for help at our October fundraisers.  This month, we are also asking for your time, at those three fundraising events in October – our yard sale, a cat show, and a pizza party.  I hope you’ll take a moment before the craziness sets in, and help us to help the kitties – donate to the yard sale, help sort items or volunteer at the sale, help us transport items for sale to the cat show, or help us staff the show booth, or just join us at the pizza party where a portion of your dinner bill gets donated to FFGW.  Details for all of these events are elsewhere in this newsletter, and you can simply reply to the newsletter if you can help at the yard sale or cat show.  I hope to see you at the pizza party – I’ll be the one showing off photos of his four black cats... and a white one with a serious milk problem.

 Pearl Boo Bowl

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