Black Cat Appreciation Day

Black cats are beautiful, they are mini house panthers, sleek and mysterious. They hold a special place in the hearts of many including myself and Black Cat Appreciation Day is a day to celebrate all things black cat while helping dispell the negativity and myths that still surround them.

  • People believe black cats are unlucky, this is an old superstition that still exists
  • Black cats are often overlooked for adoption in shelters around the world and have a much harder time finding homes
  • Black cats have been linked to Witch Craft and became the unfortunate targets of cruelty throughout history because they were thought to posses supernatural or demonic powers. Today, during Halloween they can still become targets and most shelters do not adopt them out during this time

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Of course today we know better and most people realize that demonizing a cat because of their color is complete rubbish. So what about the benefits of adopting black cats?

  • They go with everything because black never goes out of style
  • They are like having tiny panthers running around your home and that’s pretty cool
  • In some cultures black cats are considered lucky! The Scottish believe a strange black cat’s arrival to the home signifies prosperity, while Pirates of the 19th century believed if a black cat walks towards you, it’s a sign of bad luck, but it’s good luck if it walks away from you. In the English Midlands, a black cat as a wedding present is thought to bring good luck to the bride!
  • Black cats have the ability to be just as sweet and loving as any other cat and make wonderful companions

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In honor of this day I went through some old photos, including the film kind, of my black cat Simon who I had to let go of 5 years ago this month. I still get sad and even teary eyed when I look at some of these and my one regret is the I didn’t have a digital camera or iPhone early on to capture more of him. Simon was an old soul, gentle and very loving, he loved and greeted everyone who came to our home. He always put Spinner and Cleo first when eating and loved to sit at the dinning room table during the holidays, this earned him the nickname gentleman Jim. Although he is gone he is never far from my mind or my heart.

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Simon, aka Gentleman Jim, at the dinner table during one Christmas. He always wanted to be near the action

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Simon in 2006 looking like the perfect house panther

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Simon in 2009 he loved to be in the sunlight on the coldest or hottest day

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Simon in the Winter of 2010

Simon – (1992 – 2010)

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My Little Panther

This week marks the 4 year anniversary of the passing of my cat Simon. Sometimes it feels like I had to say goodbye yesterday and other days if feels like a lifetime ago. Simon lived a wonderful 18 years, and maybe a little selfishly I wished it could have been longer.

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The Early Years

Simon was a very kind, gentle spirit who loved everyone he met including Spinner, a later addition to our cat family, and Cleo our Tabby cat who had no patience for him. She often walked by giving him a smack with her paw right on his face, leaving Simon shocked every time. He never retaliated however, instead he would sneak up to sleep by her side and even wash her problem ear as she got older.

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Simon washes his brother Spinner

Simon adored his brother Spinner and, after an initial hiss upon first meeting, they became best buddies. Simon was talkative, inquisitive and always wanted to know what the humans were up to. There are many fond memories of Simon during the holidays as he loved to hang out with guests and would sit at the dinner table like a proper gentleman.

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Simon enjoys a spot in the winter sun

Simon had green eyes and a pure black coat with a blue tint, fading slightly towards the end of his life to reveal a subtle mink color…and a few grey hairs. I always called him my little panther, for he resembled one perfectly in miniature, sleek beauty and grace. One of my favorite pictures of him above, the late winter sun striking his fur in such a way that it looks like he is shimmering.

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Simon helps me get organized. One the last photos taken of him

Simon brought years of joy, comfort and humor to our lives and even my dad, who wasn’t a cat person and called him Sparky, was very upset at his passing.  Despite knowing it was his time and that I was doing the right thing, I still went through all the typical stages of grieving including questioning my decision.

There was an emptiness and pain present immediately after he died, everywhere I turned there was a reminder of him and I didn’t know what to do with myself. So I painted his portrait, the only way I could express what I was feeling.

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Simon

A moment captured, Simon looking down and away as he was in the habit of doing when being photographed,  a wonderful cat with a wise old soul who will always be remembered.

One of the many lasting gifts Simon gave me was a love and appreciation for black cats, and with Black Cat Appreciation Day on Sunday August 17, I find it the perfect time to celebrate his life and spread the love for all the little panthers everywhere.