If the whole consumerism thing isn’t for you, I started a little tradition about 3 years ago over at icanhascheezburger.com making Black Friday a day of awareness for black cats and kittens, and the bad rap they get.
The name “Black Friday” made it a natural, with the hint to remember built right in the name, and hopefully, the proximity to Christmas might get one or two people thinking about adopting a black kitty for someone’s special Christmas gift.
It’s a well documented fact that black cats are disproportionally overlooked in shelters.Black cats have the lowest adoption rate and the highest euthanasia rate?
Whether because of superstition, prejudice black cats are statistically less likely to be adopted than more brightly colored felines. Millions of black cats are killed every year simply because they are misunderstood.
- Of the 1,000 shelters that replied to the National Council’s survey, 5 to 7 million animals were handled.
- In 1997, roughly 64 percent of the total number of animals that entered shelters were euthanized — approximately 2.7 million animals in just these 1,000 shelters. These animals may have been euthanized due to overcrowding, but may also have been sick, aggressive, injured or suffering from something else.
- 56 percent of dogs and 71 percent of cats that enter animal shelters are euthanized. More cats are euthanized than dogs because they are more likely to enter a shelter without any owner identification.
- Only 15 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats that enter animal shelters are reunited with their owners.
- 25 percent of dogs and 24 percent of cats that enter animal shelters are adopted.
It is estimated that approximately 3.7 million animals were euthanized in the nation’s shelters in 2008. This number represents a generally accepted statistic that is widely used by many animal welfare organizations, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
While superstition likely accounts for a large part of this stigma, black being the color of death and funerals, and that whole “crossing your path” thing, black cats are actually considered lucky in most of Europe, especially England and Scotland. And I happily sit in a chair with black cats crossing my path all day long to prove the superstition wrong. I’ve owned several black cats, and suffered no ill luck.
It’s time we got over this, and stop taking it out on the kitties!
Black Friday 2012. A day for black cats and kittens.
It was clear his mother had left him behind as he was trying to jump up a fence but couldn’t. As i approached him he didn’t back away, instead he started meowing very quietly and i slowly managed to take him into my arms and bring him home. At that time we had another cat, 15 years old, and at first they didn’t get along so much, but day after day they became closer and two years ago, when she died, he kept looking for her in places he know he could find her in. Lupino has a little brother now, and he’s grown into a wonderful, sweet and loving kitty. He waits for me to go to bed just to curl up at my side and cuddle, and he loves to sit in the hammock we built him the other day. I love him to pieces and i cannot imagine what my life would be without him. :)
(Warning: this is a very sad story!)
Everyone in the apartment complex I lived in knew who Ugly was. Ugly was the resident tomcat. Ugly loved three things in this world: fighting, eating garbage, and shall we say, love.
The combination of these things combined with a life spent outside had their effect on Ugly.
To start with, he had only one eye, and where the other should have been was a gaping hole. He was also missing his ear on the same side, his left foot has appeared to have been badly broken at one time, and had healed at an unnatural angle, making him look like he was always turning the corner.
His tail has long since been lost, leaving only the smallest stub, which he would constantly jerk and twitch. Ugly would have been a dark gray tabby striped-type, except for the sores covering his head, neck, even his shoulders with thick, yellowing scabs. Every time someone saw Ugly there was the same reaction. “That’s one UGLY cat!!”
All the children were warned not to touch him, the adults threw rocks at him, hosed him down, squirted him when he tried to come in their homes, or shut his paws in the door when he would not leave. Ugly always had the same reaction. If you turned the hose on him, he would stand there, getting soaked until you gave up and quit. If you threw things at him, he would curl his lanky body around feet in forgiveness. Whenever he spied children, he would come running meowing frantically and bump his head against their hands, begging for their love. If you ever picked him up he would immediately begin suckling on your shirt, earrings, whatever he could find.
One day Ugly shared his love with the neighbors huskies. They did not respond kindly, and Ugly was badly mauled. From my apartment I could hear his screams, and I tried to rush to his aid. By the time I got to where he was laying, it was apparent Ugly’s sad life was almost at an end.
Ugly lay in a wet circle, his back legs and lower back twisted grossly out of shape, a gaping tear in the white strip of fur that ran down his front. As I picked him up and tried to carry him home I could hear him wheezing and gasping, and could feel him struggling. I must be hurting him terribly I thought. Then I felt a familiar tugging, sucking sensation on my ear- Ugly, in so much pain, suffering and obviously dying was trying to suckle my ear. I pulled him closer to me, and he bumped the palm of my hand with his head, then he turned his one golden eye towards me, and I could hear the distinct sound of purring. Even in the greatest pain, that ugly battled-scarred cat was asking only for a little affection, perhaps some compassion.
At that moment I thought Ugly was the most beautiful, loving creature I had ever seen. Never once did he try to bite or scratch me, or even try to get away from me, or struggle in any way. Ugly just looked up at me completely trusting in me to relieve his pain.
Ugly died in my arms before I could get inside, but I sat and held him for a long time afterwards, thinking about how one scarred, deformed little stray could so alter my opinion about what it means to have true pureness of spirit, to love so totally and truly. Ugly taught me more about giving and compassion than a thousand books, lectures, or talk show specials ever could, and for that I will always be thankful.
He had been scarred on the outside, but I was scarred on the inside, and it was time for me to move on and learn to love truly and deeply. To give my total to those I cared for.
Many people want to be richer, more successful, well liked, beautiful, but for me, I will always try to be Ugly.
That’s right. Everybody gets a cat.
They are the best thing imaginable - funny, cute, cuddly, entertaining and low maintenance - but better than all of that, they will love you unconditionally if you treat them right.
If you haven’t gotten yours yet, it’s waiting for you at your local shelter or SPCA. All you have to do is go down and pick it out. Give it a home, some food and a place to poop and it will be your constant and best companion. It won’t care how you look, how much you make or how popular you are.
So hurry down and pick yours up. There’s plenty to go around, cause EVERYBODY GETS A CAT!