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Nonprofit seeks homes for black cats

Adoption event shines spotlight on black felines, the most difficult to find homes for.

November 05, 2011|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com
  • Sharon Kelly, left, and Randy Johnson, both from Hollywood, hold cats that are ready for adoption at the black-cat only Kitten Rescue Adoption Event held at Centinela Feed and Pet Supply in Burbank on Saturday, November 5, 2011. Kelly and Johnson already have one black cat and were looking at others. (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)
Sharon Kelly, left, and Randy Johnson, both from Hollywood,…

It’s not easy being a black cat, especially during the fall, when the black cat’s dubious distinction of being a bad omen rises with the lore of Halloween.

It’s a myth that can be hard to overcome when trying to find a new home. In fact, said Katherine Juette, a volunteer with the Los Angeles-based Kitten Rescue, black cats are the most difficult ones to find adoptive families for.

But that doesn’t mean black cats are unloved. In fact, once a year, the nonprofit organization stages its “A Black Cat Affair” to connect loving families with the furry felines.

“It’s just their day,” Juette said at Saturday’s event at Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies in Burbank. “It’s a day to highlight black cats and they are the hardest to be adopted.”

To protect them during the Halloween season, many animal rescue and adoption agencies didn’t allow black cats to be adopted during October for fear they would be used in satanic rituals, said Ricky Whitman, Pasadena Humane Society spokeswoman.

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But that changed when agencies began enforcing stricter policies on interviewing adoptive families, she said.

“It’s unlikely someone will go through the adoption process and pay to do some rituals with the cat,” Whitman said.

Still, to keep them from neglect or harm, Kitten Rescue doesn’t adopt out black cats during the last two weeks of October.

Superstitions about black cats keep many families from adopting them, said Juette, who owns a rescued black cat.

Other reasons for not adopting black cats, she said, are as simple as families desiring a more colorful cat.

“They just can’t judge them based on their looks,” she said.

Hollywood residents Sharon Kelly put in an application to adopt a black kitten at the event.

Kelly had taken in a 15-year-old black cat, but she said it recently died, so she was looking for another cat to join her other two felines.

“I feel like they need us more,” she said of her affection for black cats. “People don’t adopt them and it’s ridiculous.”

Ten black cats of all ages — one of which has been looking for a home for two years — were up for adoption at the event.

All cats had received vaccinations, were microchipped, litter-trained and spayed or neutered to make the adoption process smooth for interested families, volunteers said.

Of the 1,200 cats that the organization rescues yearly, 1,000 are adopted out. But adoptions are not done without care.

“We want to place the right cat in the right home,” Juette said.

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