I'm not much for superstitions. My wife and I take great amusement of taking photos of our black cats — Gracie and Ozzie — walking under a ladder. Our decision to adopt the pair, who are brother and sister, took about five minutes. My luck since the furballs joined our household has not suffered.
Apparently, though, not all black cats or dogs are so fortunate. According to the folks at the Pasadena Humane Society, the black critters are often left behind.
Is this because of superstition? Some bizarre form of racism? Nope, answered Ricky Whitman, vice president of community outreach for the society.
When people come in to adopt an animal, she said, they choose their pet primarily on how the animal looks. A black cat is, frankly, harder to see than a lighter colored one.
“It's hard to connect with their eyes,” she said. “It's just a practical, visual thing.”
So on Friday, the society had a $13 black cat adoption special.
Whitman said their senior vice president, Elizabeth Campo, came up with the promotion “to turn the superstition on its head.”
It's a significant discount — the normal cost is $70 — and a good number of people took the society up on the deal. At the beginning of the day, said Whitman, there were 104 cats available, 21 of which were solid black.
By the end of the day, more than 20 cats had been adopted. Pretty cool. Of course, Whitman said “black” was a bit of a technicality.
“Even the irises count,” she laughed. “Any cat is eligible.”
Whitman said summer is kitten season, and it's not unusual for the society to receive 40 kittens in a single day.
“Which is a reminder to spay and neuter your pets,” she said.