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Unlucky: Black cats less likely to be adopted at shelters
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Posted on 12/13/2008 8:57:42 AM PST by JoeProBono

Throughout history, it has conjured up images of witchcraft and magic. In the Middle Ages, it was burned alive for its supposedly supernatural powers.

In North America, it is considered unlucky to cross paths with it.

Many shelters during the month of October ban its adoption out of concern it may be abused as a result of the image it portrays on Halloween. The black cat has come a long way since the 15th century. And though its supernatural image in the 21st century has largely been relegated to folklore and mythology, many in society still consider it a social misfit because of, well, its color, or lack thereof.Indeed, the black cat’s main enemy is its own genetic makup.


TOPICS: Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: cat; cats; kittyping; superstition
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By Kelly Kaczala Dec 12, 2008 Throughout history, it has conjured up images of witchcraft and magic. In the Middle Ages, it was burned alive for its supposedly supernatural powers.

In North America, it is considered unlucky to cross paths with it.

Many shelters during the month of October ban its adoption out of concern it may be abused as a result of the image it portrays on Halloween. The black cat has come a long way since the 15th century. And though its supernatural image in the 21st century has largely been relegated to folklore and mythology, many in society still consider it a social misfit because of, well, its color, or lack thereof.

Indeed, the black cat’s main enemy is its own genetic makup.

In animal shelters across the country, black cats – and dogs - are looked upon as dull or plain, and are often passed over for more colorful pets for adoptions. As a result, they are more likely to be euthanized because no one wants them.

Julie Broadwell. of the Wood County Humane Society, a non-profit, no kill shelter in Bowling Green, says there are always a lot of black cats at the facility.

“They are seen as uninteresting in their markings, a dime a dozen. People aren’t looking at their personalities, just their coloring and they think they are boring, too much of the same,” said Broadwell.

John Dinon, executive director of the Toledo Area Humane Society, agrees.

“They’re harder to adopt because they’re more common,” said Dinon.

There are even misconceptions about their temperaments as a result of their color.

According to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Southwest Michigan, some holding facilities will actually euthanize black cats and dogs on intake because of their chance of finding a new home is so slim.

“Many people find them simply unattractive,” states the SPCA’s Web site. “They don’t appear to be as unique, and, sadly, it is harder to see expression in a dark face.”

The black cat’s temperament, though, is not any different from the various dispositions displayed by other cats, said Broadwell.

“Temperaments of black cats run the gamut from playful and friendly to lazy lap kittens to outdoor cats that want to prowl, just like any other cat. That’s why we would encourage people to pick a cat to adopt based on behavior/personality/temperament, not fur color, said Broadwell.

“There are people who link behavior to color,” said Dinon. “I’ve had a couple of black cats, and they were the sweetest, calmest cats there could be. Of course, there’s always individual variations within that.”

Few would argue that the black cat is in need of a serious image overhaul.

Scientists may be in the process of doing just that.

In an article that appeared in the March, 2003 issue of NewScientist, “Black cats may be the more fortunate felines,” research showed that ebony felines may have a health advantage over other cats. The gene for melanism, which makes their fur black, may be able to prevent certain viruses or bacteria from entering their cells, making them more resistant to disease than cats with lighter-colored coats, according to scientists.

Add to that a study by researchers at the University of Minnesota this year that showed cat owners were 40 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. For reasons that were unclear, the study did not show the same result with dog owners.

Adopt a black cat month In an effort to get many more cats into loving homes and reduce the number of felines at the Wood County Humane Society, the group’s board of directors approved a year-long campaign of special pricing for cats.

December is Adopt-a-Black Cat Month.

“The board of directors voted to hold a year long campaign of a Special of the Month to help reduce the number of cats in the shelter as we are way over capacity, probably 100 cats over what we should be,” said Broadwell. “When I asked the shelter manager and assistant manager what type of cat they wanted to run first, the said in unison, `black cats.”’

Any black cat at the Wood County Humane Society in December can be adopted for half price of $40. Or the adoption of a black cat at the regular price of $80 entitles the adopter to another cat, any color or markings, for free. All cats available for adoption have been spayed/neutered, tested and vaccinated. The adopter also receives a card for a free veterinary exam.

“We’ll run a special on orange cats, calico cats, etc., but we picked b lack cats first because there are so many of them,” said Broadwell.


1 posted on 12/13/2008 8:57:42 AM PST by JoeProBono
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To: JoeProBono

Who’ll be first wit to post the little black kid saying “That’s racist’?
5-4-3-2...


2 posted on 12/13/2008 8:59:50 AM PST by Bunkasaurus
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To: JoeProBono

3 posted on 12/13/2008 8:59:51 AM PST by null and void (Hey 0bama? There will be a pop quiz every day for the next four years...miss a question, people die.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

.


4 posted on 12/13/2008 9:02:02 AM PST by KoRn
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To: Bunkasaurus

5 posted on 12/13/2008 9:04:47 AM PST by JoeProBono ( Loose Associations - Postcards from My Mind)
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To: JoeProBono

6 posted on 12/13/2008 9:06:11 AM PST by Daffynition ("Beauty is in the sty of the beholder." ~ Joe 6-pack)
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To: null and void
Step on a crack


7 posted on 12/13/2008 9:09:22 AM PST by JoeProBono ( Loose Associations - Postcards from My Mind)
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To: Daffynition
Nummy


8 posted on 12/13/2008 9:12:03 AM PST by JoeProBono ( Loose Associations - Postcards from My Mind)
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To: JoeProBono

My parents had a series of “Blackies” that spanned fifty years - six or seven different ones IIRC. They are both gone now, along with the cats. Think I’ll adopt one soon.


9 posted on 12/13/2008 9:18:13 AM PST by dainbramaged (the Tree of Liberty needs watering)
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To: KoRn; Slings and Arrows; Glenn; republicangel; Bahbah; Beaker; BADROTOFINGER; etabeta; ...
One of my best cats was a black cat.

Just the other day I saw a beautiful black cat up for adoption at PetSmart. Now I'm really tempted.


10 posted on 12/13/2008 9:27:41 AM PST by Slings and Arrows ("If one cannot learn from the mistakes of others, one might as well become a Democrat."--E. Friesner)
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To: Slings and Arrows
One of my best cats was a black cat.

One of mine, too. I had a black cat I named Larla who lived for 19 years. We "grew up" together. She had a sweet and gentle disposition and was a great conversationalist. She was chatty and had a very rich and multi-syllabic meow.

11 posted on 12/13/2008 9:32:43 AM PST by Allegra
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To: Allegra

My poor Dizzy died young, of a respiratory infection. She was a sweetie - liked to sit on my chest and stroke my beard. I miss her.


12 posted on 12/13/2008 9:36:04 AM PST by Slings and Arrows ("If one cannot learn from the mistakes of others, one might as well become a Democrat."--E. Friesner)
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To: JoeProBono

One of the best cats we ever had was our jet black, pretty, long hair that we named “Big Al”....as in Al Sharpton...

He’d lay on my wife’s chest at night, and she would pet him. As she drifted off to sleep, Al would extend one toenail into the soft flesh of her chin, just enough to wake her up, and continue petting him...


13 posted on 12/13/2008 9:37:02 AM PST by Bean Counter (Stout Hearts.....)
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To: JoeProBono

Black cats are my favorite! I have 2.


14 posted on 12/13/2008 9:37:06 AM PST by Fawn (I want my bailout too!!!!)
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To: Fawn
Nice


15 posted on 12/13/2008 9:50:06 AM PST by JoeProBono ( Loose Associations - Postcards from My Mind)
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To: JoeProBono

Waiting for Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to show up.


16 posted on 12/13/2008 9:52:56 AM PST by earlJam
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To: JoeProBono

My son and his girlfriend have four black cats, and I have also had black cats. I think they are beautiful.


17 posted on 12/13/2008 9:54:05 AM PST by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
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To: Fawn
I have two Huskys. They are indoor dogs and HATE cats.

I have 5 feral cats that live on my porch. I built them a Cat House and their food bowls and water are on top of the Cat House. There are three black cats. One has a white blaze on his breast but all are BLACK long hairs! There is one Orange Tabby who we call OJ and one multi colored who we call Fudge!

They're all strays but come running when I whistle while putting out their food!

18 posted on 12/13/2008 9:54:16 AM PST by Young Werther (Julius Caesar (Quae Cum Ita Sunt. Since these things are so.))
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To: Slings and Arrows
"Just the other day I saw a beautiful black cat up for adoption at PetSmart. Now I'm really tempted."

Call me


19 posted on 12/13/2008 9:58:43 AM PST by JoeProBono ( Loose Associations - Postcards from My Mind)
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To: JoeProBono

I love dark haired cats. Perhaps my next adopted one will be a black cat.


20 posted on 12/13/2008 10:01:47 AM PST by mysterio
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To: JoeProBono

I had a black cat named Herman when I was a teenager. It didn’t play, but it was a phenomenal hunter. Nearly everyday we would find presents that he left. Mice, birds, squirrels and even a full grown rabbit and a full grown crow once. I’ve never seen a cat with that kind of hunting instinct since.


21 posted on 12/13/2008 10:03:43 AM PST by elmer fudd (Fukoku kyohei)
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To: Allegra
" I had a black cat...who lived for 19 years."

Me too. I got him at a local pet store in 1977. I was going through a divorce and wanted my kids to have something to take their mind off everything. He was almost 19 when I had to put him down. He was an awesome cat.

22 posted on 12/13/2008 10:04:07 AM PST by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
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To: mysterio

23 posted on 12/13/2008 10:07:09 AM PST by JoeProBono ( Loose Associations - Postcards from My Mind)
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To: JoeProBono
I'M IN UR FACE

GIVIN U TEH BAD LUCKSES
24 posted on 12/13/2008 10:08:08 AM PST by mysterio
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To: Allegra
One of mine, too. I had a black cat I named Larla who lived for 19 years. We "grew up" together. She had a sweet and gentle disposition and was a great conversationalist. She was chatty and had a very rich and multi-syllabic meow.

I had one that didn't quite make 19 years. Those yellow eyes set against that black face was hardly expressionless.

If I were ill, she would act as a sentry. She was great.

25 posted on 12/13/2008 10:08:15 AM PST by He Rides A White Horse (unite)
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To: Slings and Arrows; Daffynition; nw_arizona_granny; potlatch; devolve; Fred Nerks; Jack Deth; ...
Several black cats have graced my life and all were wonderful buddies.

My only complaint is tripping over them in the dark.


Merle

26 posted on 12/13/2008 10:12:01 AM PST by Lady Jag (DONATE NOW at https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate)
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To: JoeProBono
Photobucket
27 posted on 12/13/2008 10:13:09 AM PST by Canedawg ("The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it")
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To: Slings and Arrows

A pretty, young, mother-to-be black with white feet and belly has adopted me recently. I feed her on the porch and she has made herself a ‘nest’ under the same covered porch. I’m planning a ‘nursery’ bin w/old towels in the bottom and the snap on lid cut back partway. My other two old boys seem not too happy with this newly arrived usurper, but it remains to be seen how they will react to kittens around. This new lady is so vocal and craving of touch.


28 posted on 12/13/2008 10:15:27 AM PST by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: JoeProBono

How absolutely beautiful!


29 posted on 12/13/2008 10:17:13 AM PST by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: JoeProBono

The best cat we ever had was a black cat. Sadly, he died young from auto-immune problems, but I’d love to have another one. The feral mother of a couple of our other cats is also black. She’s fine, too, and seems to still be lurking around the neighborhood, though we don’t see her as much as we used to. They are careful about who they give black cats to, though.


30 posted on 12/13/2008 10:22:02 AM PST by Question_Assumptions
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To: JoeProBono

                  Mom?




31 posted on 12/13/2008 10:22:22 AM PST by Lady Jag (DONATE NOW at https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate)
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To: Young Werther

That is so nice of you to do all that for them. Hope you got them fixed with rabies shots?? I love the names...lol.


32 posted on 12/13/2008 10:26:04 AM PST by Fawn (I want my bailout too!!!!)
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To: elmer fudd

33 posted on 12/13/2008 10:39:36 AM PST by JoeProBono ( Loose Associations - Postcards from My Mind)
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To: JoeProBono

Stupid. Of the 45 or so cats I’ve adopted, black cats are the best-natured and sweetest.


34 posted on 12/13/2008 10:41:25 AM PST by pabianice
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To: JoeProBono

POLITICIAN CAT LIKES TO SIT ON FENCE

35 posted on 12/13/2008 10:43:48 AM PST by Slings and Arrows ("If one cannot learn from the mistakes of others, one might as well become a Democrat."--E. Friesner)
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To: mysterio

just kitting ;-)

36 posted on 12/13/2008 10:44:18 AM PST by JoeProBono ( Loose Associations - Postcards from My Mind)
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To: MHGinTN

Congrats on your new owner! Please post pix of Mom and babies.


37 posted on 12/13/2008 10:45:39 AM PST by Slings and Arrows ("If one cannot learn from the mistakes of others, one might as well become a Democrat."--E. Friesner)
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To: Slings and Arrows
HahaHaheeheemeow!


38 posted on 12/13/2008 10:48:00 AM PST by JoeProBono ( Loose Associations - Postcards from My Mind)
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To: Lady Jag

39 posted on 12/13/2008 10:53:04 AM PST by JoeProBono ( Loose Associations - Postcards from My Mind)
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To: Canedawg
I'll drink to that


40 posted on 12/13/2008 10:57:49 AM PST by JoeProBono ( Loose Associations - Postcards from My Mind)
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To: Young Werther

Don’t let the county find out you are operating a cathouse on your property!


41 posted on 12/13/2008 10:58:37 AM PST by Nik Naym (Everyone has a right to my opinion.)
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To: pabianice
Feline Sun Dial


42 posted on 12/13/2008 11:01:16 AM PST by JoeProBono ( Loose Associations - Postcards from My Mind)
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To: JoeProBono
The black one is the sister, and truly is the gentlest soul of any feline i've known.
Photobucket
43 posted on 12/13/2008 11:09:33 AM PST by Canedawg ("The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it")
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To: Canedawg

44 posted on 12/13/2008 11:27:52 AM PST by JoeProBono ( Loose Associations - Postcards from My Mind)
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To: JoeProBono

Awwww, he/she looks like a gentle soul, too.


45 posted on 12/13/2008 11:30:29 AM PST by Canedawg ("The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it")
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To: Slings and Arrows

When I figure out how to do that, I will do so gladly ... as a proud servant of ‘Miss Baby’ and her little ones.


46 posted on 12/13/2008 11:40:25 AM PST by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: JoeProBono

I had a black cat run across the road in front of me and the next morning, my car wouldn’t start (fuel pump relay).

Who says they’re not bad luck?


47 posted on 12/13/2008 11:42:08 AM PST by Fresh Wind (Hey, Obama! Where's my check?)
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To: JoeProBono

I LOVE that one! ROFLMAO!!


48 posted on 12/13/2008 12:08:22 PM PST by Lady Jag (DONATE NOW at https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate)
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To: null and void

Chupacabra!!


49 posted on 12/13/2008 12:09:25 PM PST by constitutiongirl (We will not go quietly into the night...we will fight to save our Republic.)
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To: JoeProBono

My mom has a beautiful black cat named Sheba. She just showed up one day. She’s a heck of a mole killer. Petite, loving and has a gorgeous shiny black coat that looks like velvet.


50 posted on 12/13/2008 12:12:22 PM PST by constitutiongirl (We will not go quietly into the night...we will fight to save our Republic.)
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