Did you know that black cats find it hardest to get adopted? And did you know why? I’ve been reading a lot recently about people not choosing black cats because they’re – allegedly – harder to photograph for social media. At first, I thought it was a joke, but it turns out that it’s not. So another body image issue to blame Instagram for, along with its perishing algorithm.
As some of you may know, we have three cats: Jester, my old white boy, Ginger (no prizes for guessing his colour), and Flora’s black boy, Spooky. Three different colours, three different personalities, all gorgeous in their own ways. I’ve written about how we acquired Ginger before, so today I’m sharing Spooky’s tale.
Spooky was our replacement cat after Flora’s first cat, Buzz, was sadly run over. He came from our local Cats Protection and when we first saw him he was at the top of the cage, hanging off the wire. His brother and sister were both receptive to strokes but Spooky wouldn’t have any of it. We wanted a feisty boy to cope with Cat Alley at home, so naturally we were determined he was the one for us.
Alarm bells perhaps should have started ringing when we went back to collect him and the foster lady had to use gloves and a towel to catch him. A nice feral little kitten then, my five year old’s ideal pet. Once home, he hissed and hid for about three days. Buried in the shadows, the only way we knew he was still there was evidence of an empty food bowl and full litter tray. Not the most promising start! Eventually of course, we persuaded him to start trusting us and that was the beginning of a lovely relationship.
Spooky knows who he belongs to (I use the term “belongs” loosely, any cat lover knows what I mean). He sleeps on her bed and he’s the most snuggly and affectionate boy. I now understand what a rattling purr is, the first time I heard it I feared for our windows. He’s also the best looking of our three (ssssh, don’t tell Jester). His coat gleams in the sunshine, he’s lost his youthful racing cat silhouette, but he’s very much Bagheera in his prime. And his eyes are just beautiful – a bright glowing green which, I will admit, I’ve failed to capture properly in any of these photographs. Spooky’s a fierce defender of his territory, sadly an accomplished mouser, yet he always but always defers to Jester as senior cat. All this and black too. So, what else is in his favour?
Reasons why you should adopt a black cat
- Black goes with everything – name me a colour or pattern that looks bad with black.
- You’ll never need to brush hairs off your work trousers, they’ll simply add extra warmth.
- Black is slimming so a great reason for lots of cuddles.
- I’ve just mentioned the coolest black cat of all – come on, who doesn’t love Bagheera?
- Black cats crossing your path are considered lucky – which may be why many ships cats are black.
- You’ll never be short of a Hallowe’en companion.
- Their eyes are always so striking when set against black fur.
- They come from royalty – check your Egyptian history – and it’s safe to say that Spooky hasn’t forgotten this.
- Black cats aren’t hard to photograph if you have patience and some good lighting. Look on it as a chance to hone your photography skills instead of multiple flatlays (!)
- True love knows no colour.
- You’ll help save a life, or at least give a black cat the chance to experience what so many of his coloured cousins are so freely offered.
Although I always wanted a black cat, even when I was Flora’s age, the point I really want to make is that colour doesn’t matter when you’re adopting a cat. They don’t care so why should you? If you only want to get a cat to boost your own image then, please, just don’t. No animal deserves to be spurned for its colour, especially based on something as trivial as how they may or may not photograph. Do you think cats care about that? Do you think you would care if the tables were turned?
As you sow so shall you reap, I believe the saying goes. We may not have been working with the most fertile ground to start with but we’ve been amply rewarded with the most beautiful, loyal, fun, and loving little black cat – and we are very lucky.