It’s almost Halloween! Pumpkins are in season, ghosts are the highlight of scary stories, and black cats are the traditional spooky symbol of this scary holiday. But why? How did black cats come to be a very common symbol of this holiday?
In the Middle Ages people started to fear witchcraft. Old English folklore held that witches could shapeshift into black cats and spy on people during nights. That belief crossed the seas with the American settlers and was firmly-held during the Salem witch hunts. Legend said that witches could transform into a black cat and back to a human. Some people even believed that witches could reincarnate into black cats after death. Even in our modern times the association between witches and black cats can be seen at Halloween in our decorations and costumes.
But there is a side effect of this silly superstition – black cats are the least likely to get adopted from shelters and unfortunately they hold the highest euthanasia rate. So if you’re really feeling the holiday spirit this Halloween, consider adopting a black cat from an animal shelter or rescue service because black cats are… but better see it for yourself!