Now, I may be a bit biased, but I think having a special day dedicated to us house panthers is a pretty awesome idea! Black kitties often get a bad rap. Some people think we are bad luck and we’ve even been accused of being witches! Of course, neither of these beliefs is true, but there are some cool things about black cats that I’d like to share with you.
Why are Black Cats Black?
The simple answer is genetics. A true black cat must inherit a black gene for coat color from each parent. If a cat inherits a black gene from one parent and a different gene from the other, they may appear black as that is the dominant gene. For example, with some black kitties, you can see brown or reddish colors in their fur in the sunlight. Or you may see faint tabby stripes and an “M” on the forehead. Like other cats, black cats can grow white hairs and “gray” as they age, but they will not turn completely turn gray.
Recent research provides some evidence that black cats may outlive other domestic cat breeds. The gene responsible for making their fur black is linked to protection against certain diseases that other cats are susceptible to, therefore black cats have a lower chance of developing a disease or getting sick because of their genes.
Some Japanese folklore suggests that if a single woman crosses paths with a black cat, she will find many potential suitors. The Maneki Neko cat figurine with raised paws is a popular figure throughout Japanese culture and is thought to bring good luck and wealth to its owner. While many of these figurines are white, they also come in black.
The Scots believed that if a black cat were to arrive at your doorstep, prosperity would be well on its way. People that lived in southern France believed that black cats were associated with magic and magicians. As such, feeding them and treating them well granted that person good fortune. Even hearing a black cat sneeze served as a good luck omen, at least in Italy.
Famous Black Cats
The great American writer Mark Twain was an avid cat lover who had a black cat named Bambino. When Bambino went missing, Twain offered a $5 reward for his return. Fortunately, Bambino returned home on his own.
Blackie the Millionaire Cat
When he passed away, Blackie’s owner left a fortune of $25 million dollars. Blackie inherited half of his owner’s fortune and the remainder was donated to animal charities.
Gladstone is the Chief Mouser for the Treasury of the United Kingdom. In this role, he is responsible for catching mice at the Treasury’s Horse Guards Road building in London. Gladstone started life as a stray and now lives a comfortable life being cared for by the Treasury staff.
Homer the Blind Wonder Cat
Homer was the inspiration for Gwen Cooper’s book “Homer’s Odyssey”. This story of Homer and Gwen’s life together encompasses the 9/11 attacks and Homer saving Gwen’s life.
Black cats are pretty special if I do say so myself. I’m going to find my humans now and let them appreciate me more than usual.
Here’s looking at you, Kits!