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Black cats, they say, are bad luck. They have been associated with negative events and witches since the dawn of time, and during Halloween season they run unfortunate risks. In 2013, for example, in Italy some 33,000 black cats were killed, victims of ancient popular beliefs that give them obviously undeserved blame for bad luck. And so, especially on the 31st of October, if you have a black cat in the house, make sure you protect it.

It’s really hard to believe that, in the year 2015, innocent living beings like cats can still be the objects of prejudice and superstition. But it’s true, and Halloween becomes yet another excuse to hurt these wonderful pets born blessed with lovely black fur. Still today, between a trick and a treat, there are those who carry out satanic rites to sacrifice black cats.

To help our unfortunate pets, animal protection associations suggest that you don’t give black cats in adoption to anyone around this time of year. Not only, but there are also many associations that actually do the rounds of those places known as ‘temples’ for satanic rites to make sure there are no black cats anywhere in the vicinity. The AIDAA (the Italian animal and environmental protection association) has 54 groups of volunteers that go around and check up on these infamous sites, of which there are, it seems, 135.

What are the roots of this superstition? The origins of these beliefs date to times when there were no street lights, when black cats were all but invisible. This sometimes resulted in horses being caught off guard, bucking and causing accidents when they came across one in the dark. Nothing to do with witches or black magic.

Times have changed, everything around us has evolved (or has it?). So why should our beloved black cat still be a target?

If you have one, pay special attention and keep him at home if possible during this time of year. With the temperatures falling and the days getting shorter, we’re sure he’ll be happy to sit at home with you and enjoy some extra cuddles.

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