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In Praise of Black Cats

black cats have great personalities and I love my black cat.

One of the symbols of Halloween is the black cat. Did you know that people are still superstitious about black cats? I learned that when I was going to the Martinez Animal Shelter for my Pet of the Week article. According to the cat volunteers at the shelter, black cats are the hardest cats to adopt.

According to the American Heritage online dictionary, a superstition is “A belief, practice, or rite irrationally maintained by ignorance of the laws of nature or by faith in magic or chance.” From my own experience I can say, anyone who is superstitious about black cats is ignorant about them.  Let me tell you why.

I own a black cat and he has changed my life for the better.  Black cats have the best personalities. My cat, Sparky is a good example. He is very vocal and responds when I talk to him, which is so charming! To wake me up in the morning he pushes on my nose with his paw. How did he learn that! Kitten school? He is the most adorable cat I have ever met!

Sparky’s black coat is so shiny and soft. He is beautiful, and I tell him that a lot. He has big green eyes that are stunning against his black fur. He has so many expressions that he makes me laugh all the time. I love him so much that I make up songs for him. One is a barber shop type song , some of the words are: “He’s climbing up the curtains/He’s doing back flips off the blinds – oh my!/But when I come home to see his green eyes shine/I know my love for him is blind/That’s Sparks-o-mine.” Silly isn’t it? I told my friend about these songs and she said, “Marlene, that’s the music of your soul!” My eyes welled up and I realized that the way I feel isn’t silly. I love Sparky, and the life he has brought to my life.

I think love is one of the most important things for us to experience in life. I often think about what my life was like before Sparky, because he reminds me everyday. When I look down on the carpet, it’s not just my footprints anymore, but his footprints are there next to mine. And his paw prints are close to the edge of the wall, in a space where there doesn’t look like there’s room for anything, but there is. He did the same thing to my heart. I didn’t know there was room in my heart to love this beautiful black cat, but there is.

Animals bring out our ability to love. The animals in the shelters need our love. The color of their fur does not define them. They just want to live a happy life and bring their joy in your world. That’s what my cat did. It’s time to end the ignorance that is the basis for black cats being the hardest cats to adopt. Stand up to people who talk badly of black cats. Point out that a superstition is based on ignorance. Educate them about these sweet, loving cats, and trust the light you see in the life of these animals.

At PetCo in Martinez there’s a bumper sticker that reads, “Who rescued who?” I think my black cat rescued me, and has surrounded my carpet and my heart with his tiny paw prints. Now I sing his praises in words and song, and write about how wonderful he is.  I’ll never be the same.

Do you have a black cat? What can you say in praise of black cats?

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Chris J Kapsalis October 31, 2012 at 07:28 PM
We love our black cat Fudge. His eyes are bright yellow and he is so friendly. A lover, not a fighter. And he as well has a very soft coat. He was more brown, a fudge color when he was born and Becky named him. Pure black now. Very pretty cat. We have him inside for halloween. BTW, every cat I've ever known had a different personality. Everyone.
Marlene Vasilieff October 31, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Hi Chris, Fudge is a great name for a cat!
Chris J Kapsalis October 31, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I posted sa photo of our black cat on your blog Marlene. Love your black cat as well. great blog and for the record, our Black cat has brough us nothing but good luck and lots of love since he was born right here in our house!
Marlene Vasilieff October 31, 2012 at 09:22 PM
That's a great picture. Fudge is a beautiful cat! Thanks for posting it! My cat too has given me lots of good luck!
Joanna November 01, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Fudge looks like my Obie (for Obsidian) did, so beautiful right down to the white medallion on his chest. I lost Obie 8 years ago tonight to a botched surgery, and altho' I have another 2 wonderful kitties, I will never forget my sweet, oh-so-friendly cat ambassador to the world, Obie!!
Harriett Burt November 01, 2012 at 04:12 AM
I loved your blog, Marlene -- and so did my black cat, Boston (trivia question -- Boston's full name is Boston Blackie -- who is he named after? there are two possible correct answers). I read an article in today's Chron about the problems shelters have with finding homes for black cats. Not with me! When my aging Boston moves on, i'll be looking for another black cat.
Linda Meza November 02, 2012 at 01:26 PM
My oldest son Keith came home one day with a tiny black kitten in his arms and swore he 'found' it. It was 'lost'. I shooed him out and told him to go find his home since the kitten was found wearing a bead collar. The next day I was told the cat really was lost and homeless. That was October '98. Salem has been a part of our, now my, family since. I had a bit of a scare earlier this year when a tooth extraction wasn't healing properly, I feared I'd loose him. Thankfully he's perched on my lap now as I type.
Sarah Lauer November 05, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Thanks for that great essay Marlene. Sparky reminds me of Archie, who was an orange cat but brought the same kind of love into my life. He died at age 8 and I still miss him. Now I make up songs for my Jack Russell (Miss Bugtussle.)

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