It’s usual for individuals to believe that black cats bring bad luck. When the Puritans arrived in what would become the United States, they brought with them this superstition. Devout Puritans rejected everything related to witchcraft during the period of “witchcraft mania.”
And, since legend had it that witches could convert into black cats and be reincarnated as black cats, that didn’t bode well for our black feline companions’ reputation.
Black cats have been forever connected with all things magical and sinister since then. When Halloween rolls around, for example, black cats can be found on the back of a witch’s broom, on themed dinnerware, and in movies.
Who doesn’t adore Binx from Hocus Pocus? It’s no surprise that folks are still superstitious.
And, as entertaining as our imaginations are, it’s not totally safe. For years, 3 to 4 million cats have entered shelters, with almost 71 percent being euthanized – the bulk of which are black cats. Why? This is due to a variety of factors:
- Some people believe that black cats are unlucky.
- Some people like white or tabby cats.
- Because black is a prominent color, black cats are more common than other hues
Whatever the cause, the annual loss of these fuzzy creatures is astonishing. This is where Black Cat Features enters the picture.
How Did Black Cat Features Get Started?
Misty of @webbyandmisty launched the Instagram account @blackcatfeatures on Friday, September 13, 2019 with the intention of improving people’s unfavorable ideas about black cats by sharing tales and photographs of them.
Misty had been on Instagram for over a year at the time, and earlier that year, she had seen her brother Webster (Webby) rewarded by being named an admin for a Tuxedo Cat features account (@tuxedofeatures). Webby decided to build a similar community for #blackcats after seeing how pawsome it was for her to meet so many wonderful members of the #coicommunity and share their tales with a wider audience.
She decided that Friday the 13th would be the purrfect day to start the new venture because black cats are associated with bad luck. Instead of seeing it as another day of bad luck, she saw it as an opportunity to begin celebrating her fellow #minipanthers.
She approached Lillabet of @nelson_and_lillabet, a like-minded panther who is the sister of Webby’s @tuxedofeatures admin furriend Nelson, to be both the furrst feature and admin, to help get the ball going. In the early weeks, these two were the only contributors, but they later added a carefully selected group of panther fans from around the world as admins to assist increase the account’s reach.
Since then, Black Cat Features has amassed a following of approximately 44,000 people. Their community of eight administrators may focus on both large and micro-accounts, including those with fewer than 100 followers. Black Cat Features has also released posts in French, Dutch, Portuguese, and Russian, all with the objective of spreading the love for black cats everywhere.
The mission of Black Cat Features is to combat negative perceptions and build a supportive community of black cat lovers.
“I joined BCF to promote the adoption of black cats in commemoration of the kitty love of my life, a black cat named Shop Cat, who sat at the shelter for nearly 6 months at the age of 15,” explains contributor and admin @realshopcat. I believe that by featuring black cats on a daily basis, we might encourage more people to consider adopting one. The goal is to increase awareness so that these magnificent animals are not forgotten in shelters in the future.“
The other admins had similar statements, like:
“I have two small black cats who are the loves of my life. Prior to adopting Jennifer and Justin, I had no idea that there were still myths and prejudices against black cats! I quickly recognized that addressing people’s misunderstandings would become a personal mission of mine after adopting them. What I love about BCF is that we feature gorgeous black cats from all over the world, all with the same goal in mind: to change people’s perceptions and raise awareness and awwws!”
Or this one:
“It was critical to me that we did not create another repost site, but instead created a Black Cat Community. We did this by contacting our weekly featured and interviewing them to learn more about what makes each Panther unique.“
“As a result, Black Cat Features has been able to interact with our followers on a deeper and more intimate level. Each of our Admins has their own distinct voice and storytelling style, which all of our Purveyors of a Fine House Panther appreciate.“
What You Can Do If You Want to Make a Difference
Spreading the word about black cats’ excellent qualities is a great approach to dispel their outdated stereotypes and encourage more adoptions. Use the hashtag #black_cat _eatures and follow @blackcatfeatures to contribute to the cause. Using the hashtag might even land you a full-fledged exclusive feature with one of the administrators.
Because each and every cat has a story, Black Cat Features shares more than just a photo. It shares and celebrates the lives behind these photos.