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October is a month of many things: a beautiful segue into autumn, the official comeback of pumpkin spice everything, and, above all, #Halloween. The ghoulishly fun holiday comes around once every year on the last day of October when exciting events such as trick-or-treating and haunted houses become hot spots for everyone who celebrates.

The festivities usually associate themselves with horror and fantasy as people of all ages dress up in a variety of unique costumes. In addition to a lot of the supernatural and magical concepts that Halloween perpetuates, #Black Cats have become a significant symbolization of bad luck, mystery, and general spookiness, most commonly around this time of the year.

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Because of this connotation, animal shelters and local rescues typically do not allow black cat adoptions during the month of October, but there is a much bigger picture to look at here.

The superstition surrounding black cats

The timeline of black cat superstition dates back to the Middle Ages when the similarity in color between that of some felines and ravens took shape and initiated the idea that death would shortly occur if a black cat crossed someone's path. This, unfortunately, resulted in the deaths of many of these misunderstood creatures and began an unfortunate domino effect.

During the end of the Middle Ages, frequently referred to as the Dark Ages, witches became a widely popular superstition. Many innocent women and men were persecuted and killed on unjustified terms. Alongside them, the theory that black cats were associated with witchcraft continued to ravage their already poor reputation.

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From country to country, these superstitions cultivated and spread. Today, black cats are looked at with the theory that they are dark, supernatural, and creepy symbols of bad luck. Although many people around the world understand the lack of a foundation that these preposterous claims present, there are still plenty of individuals that associate black cats with the wrongful allegations that they have received over time.

Black cats during Halloween

The irrational fear of black cats is embedded and rooted in history, but that doesn't mean it has any basis. Unfortunately, not everyone is so easily convinced that their doubts are unwarranted. Because of their association with such spooky concepts, there is a preconceived idea that black cats are sacrificed and used in satanic rituals during Halloween, often as a way to celebrate a higher being.

In addition to this notion, black cats are also said to be adopted as usage for Halloween props, and then subsequently abandoned after the holiday has passed.

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Despite these claims, there really isn't any substantial evidence that points toward increased animal abuse or abandonment in or around the month of October, however, in the grand scheme of things, this doesn't mean much to the owners of animal shelters and rescues.

A vast majority of adoption centers do not allow black cat adoptions during the scariest month of the year, or they create stricter rules to limit the potential of black cats going to bad homes. Throughout a long-standing debate over the validity of these decisions, a lack of significant proof of increased feline mistreatment in October makes it difficult to determine if this widespread rule is helping or hurting a black cat's chance of adoption, survival, and a loving home.

The facts about animal abuse

When it comes down to it, there just isn't any statistical proof to support canceling adoptions for black cats around Halloween time. However, that doesn't mean that these animals aren't specifically abused and that taking certain precautionary measures isn't in their best interest, even if it does equal a bit more time waiting around for the right owner to come along. In fact, black cats aren't the only ones who are often subjected to cruel treatment by humans - all animals are, and all of them deserve #Protection.

Animal sacrifice has many different backgrounds throughout diverse cultures, religions, and even for use in science and medicine. Although it is not always regarded so harshly in some arrangements, rituals in correlation to felines does not end with black cats. Specifically, white cats are also targeted for their link to purity, and groups who partake in these practices often will accept any animal to be used.

In 2016 alone, over 150,000 complaints of animal abuse were filed to the RSPCA in the UK. That number equals roughly 400 reports daily for an entire year - a mind-blowing statistic that easily proves how much all animals need to be protected. When it comes to cats, it isn't enough to simply enhance security for a single coat color one month out of the year.

Instead, it's extremely important to keep an eye out for our furry friends constantly, and for rescues and shelters to appropriately utilize every possible device to keep tabs on each adopted cat. This includes:

  • Keeping up-to-date records of an adopter's information at all times
  • Casually conversing with an adopter to strategically find out additional info about the life the new animal will be going into
  • Observation of how a potential adopter might treat other animals and their comfort level around animals
  • Ensuring that the adoptable animal in question is comfortable around their new owner (animals really can sense positive and negative things about their surroundings!)
  • Background checks (animal abusers are more likely to also be violent towards people, and this can be a tell-tale sign of whether or not to allow someone to adopt)
  • Consistent but random at-home checks to ensure that the animal is not only receiving proper care but to validate the animal's health and quality of life

Cats of every color need our help

Should black cats become unavailable for adoption in the month of October? Every adoption center performs differently, and with the vast amount of animals being targeted with abuse for reasons outside the realm of rationality, it makes sense to put limitations up against animal cruelty. However, this should happen year-round and should always be a top priority for all animals, because anyone and anything is susceptible to abuse and being abused.

Anyone who has gotten to know a black cat can determine that they are just as friendly as a cat with a different coat color. Despite the fact that this unfortunate superstition has caused suffering for black cats in many places, there are also plenty of people around the world that appreciate the majesty and wonder that they provide. Through diligence and understanding, all cats can be just as appreciated, understood, and protected as they deserve to be.