Asheville’s holistic veterinarian Dr. Laurel Davis offers “Stories from a holistic vet,” the blog of a holistic vet and “animal interpreter” with a clinic in Asheville, NC. Dr. Laurel also offers intuitive animal health, vaccination and lifestyle advice for animal companions and their human friends across the USA.
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The Truth About Black Cats and The People Who Love Them!
Apparently, black cats need a lot of celebrating, since there are three “official” National Black Cat Days: August 17, October 27 and November 17. We choose to celebrate Black Cat Week (instead of just one day), and we honor our swarthy feline friends on the week where November 17 falls, because we like to bring up the conversation of black-cat-love after the witches and vampires of Halloween celebrations are over. After all, black cats, although filled with mystery like all felines, are lucky and fortunate friends to have year-round!
There is a stigma and superstition surrounding black cats that I have never embraced. That they are unlucky, or ill omens, or portents of doom, is a primarily Western notion that goes back centuries, all the way to Greek mythology.
In some stories, a servant named Galinthias is turned into a black cat before joining Hecate, goddess of many things — among them witchcraft and necromancy, and so in some circles, black cats became known as an omen or servant of death. Skip to the Middle Ages when black cats became even more widely associated with black magic. In 1233, Pope Gregory XI published the “Vox in Rama” which included a vilification of black cats. In it, he claimed that black cats were the incarnation of Satan, leading to the slaughter and dwindling population of these majestic creatures. What a sad, sad fate!
Fortunately, in 2018, many of these beliefs are not widely held. Thanks to the internet, we have a broadened scope of knowledge, and so along with these dark tales of the cursed black cat we also have tales of their splendor. For instance, in many cultures worldwide, black cats are considered to be lucky! In Scottish lore, having a black cat show up at your home means that you are going to win the jackpot, and in Japan, black cats are especially lucky for single women, since owning a black cat is thought to attract potential suitors. Of course, we can’t talk about cats without mentioning ancient Egypt, where for many centuries all cats were revered, and Bastet, the goddess of cats, protection, joy, dance, music, family, and love is often depicted as a regal, black cat.
I have always admired these creatures for their intensity, their regal demeanor, their majestic, intelligent eyes, and for their ever-wild hearts. Regardless of the superstitions surrounding them, they are stunning, loyal, and endlessly special beings.
The people who love them are lucky indeed.
How can you celebrate National Black Cat Day? Often, black cats are the last ones adopted at shelters…or they’re not adopted at all. If you can open your home to another feline companion, black cats are among the best friends you can have. And, if you already have a majestic bite-sized panther as a friend, lavish them special attention and treats. They deserve it!
And here are some photos of a few of our favorite black cats and the people who love them!
Our Facebook fans…
(Thank you for posting images of your beautiful companions!)
Have a special black cat in your life? Share a photo of the two of you in the comments section below or on our Facebook page!
Dr. Laurel Davis is Asheville’s holistic veterinarian offering phone and Skype consultations for animal lovers everywhere.Call 828-254-2221 or order an Ask Dr. Laurel™ phone or Skype session or bring your dog or cat to her downtown Asheville, NC clinic. Read more patient stories.
Get to know Dr. Laurel by reading her blog.