Black and White (Cats)

20190823_2107361250397845127157264.jpgIf you’ve been coming around here for the last year, you know I am a cat lover, and the cat I loved most had to be put down because of cancer recently. I chose Claude … or rather he chose me … at the Yorba Linda Cats in Need Rescue, where I have volunteered for about a year and a half. At any given time, there are three to six cats staying at the rescue and dozens more being fostered in the homes of other volunteers. Adoption events are held every Saturday and Sunday. It is a joy to come in on my appointed evening and find any cat has been adopted but especially a cat that I like. But it is discouraging to see cats returned by people who adopted them, after promising to give them a forever home. And is sad to see cats that remain week after week, living in a cage.

pilgrimFor weeks now, the same three cats have been at the rescue. Dean and Mystic are midnight black, Dean with Orange Eyes and Mystic with green. Brutus is a large tuxedo, mostly black with cute white markings on his face, chest and paws.   Every week, I go in hoping one of them will be adopted. I asked Debbie, who manages Cats in Need, Why? Black cats and tuxedos are the last to go, she said. Really, I thought. Do we have to be prejudiced about the color of our cats,brutus too? Naturally, I assumed that some people avoid black or mostly black cats because of those historical myths that they are evil or bad luck. I find it hard to believe that in this day and age anyone would believe such crap, but there are a lot of things going on in the world that I have trouble believing. Then there’s this: an article on the Animal Channel website says that Most recently, shelters have stated that black cats are being shunned for a whole different reason. Apparently, they don’t photograph well or “look nice” in selfies. Seriously? These lovely creatures are left in rescues because of superstition AND narcissism?

And what about tuxedos?   Is it just that a mostly black cat might be bad luck?  Or is it, as the website for Tuxedo Cat rescue in the UK says, Because black and white cats are so common they are often the last cats to be adopted from shelters as cats of different colors catch peoples attention first.  Personally, I believe it goes deeper than that.   While many people want a beautiful or elegant cat, tuxedos look cute, or peculiar or even funny.   Several people said my tuxedo, Claude, looked like a cow.   Maybe the selfie-taking crowd doesn’t like the way tuxedos look on Instagram either.

Is there a point to this ramble?   Only that if you are looking for a cat to adopt, take some time to get to know the tuxedos and black cats.   They have likely spent a longer time in the shelter than their non-monochrome cousins and would love to come home with you.   They may be timid or even a little ornery after their long shelter stay, so give yourself a chance to get to know them.   Give them a break.  And give them a home.

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One Comment on “Black and White (Cats)”

  1. Sharon Says:

    The whole black cat and instagram thing infuriated me, what is wrong with people. I currently have three cats all rescues including a little white and black cat that just turned up at our house, I suspect he might have been dumped at the school down the road from us. Whatever happened I was never able to find his owner so he has stayed with us. I also used to have a tuxedo, she lived a long and happy life with us and it never occurred to me that people would not choose a cat because of its colour.
    Mostly our cats have chosen us but next time I am in a position to offer a cat a home I will positively discriminate towards a darker coloured feline.

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