October is a time when traditions and superstitions revolving around Halloween return. These are, for the most part, fun and harmless. Some of these traditional beliefs, however, can result in a negative impact on the local community.
It is a well-known myth that a black cat supposedly brings bad luck
when it crosses an individual’s path, but during the month of October, it is a very
unlucky time to be a dark-furred feline.
Reports from across the country of black cats being abused
during the month of October have caused animal shelters problems in determining
whether potential adoptees are looking for a new member of the family, or if they have less loving intentions in mind for the furry creatures. Those looking for a black cat for more nefarious reasons will often adopt just a few days prior to Halloween,
then return them a day or two after the holiday with a
generic excuse as to why the cat wasn’t the right fit for them.
sophomore in animal science, said she is disgusted by the act.
“I think it’s ridiculous, why would anyone want to harm an
animal just based on the color of their fur?” she said. “Being a cat owner,
I know how much Delilah depends on me and I would never do anything to put her in
Due to these issues, many animal shelters across
the country no longer allow black cats to be adopted during the month of
October in an effort to prevent abuse.
technician at Manhattan’s T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter, said her shelter has adopted
this policy after having firsthand experience with these types of problems.
“The biggest problem we’ve had was a black kitten being
adopted before Halloween then returned a few days later with a blow dart in his
eye,” Smith said. “After that, it was a cumulative decision as a shelter to stop
allowing black cats to be adopted in October.”
Although Smith said this incident was the worst the shelter
had experienced, there have been reports of more violent abuse from
animal shelters from across the country. In rare instances, satanic
cults have been known to sacrifice black cats on Halloween.
Sarina Irwin, also a technician at the T. Russell Reitz shelter, said concerns over satanic sacrifices contributed to the decision to stop October black cat adoptions and that cat abuse around Halloween comes from superstitious beliefs dating back to before the Salem witch trials.
“We do it for the animals’ safety — we won’t allow black cats to be adopted partially because of concern of sacrifices,” Irwin said. “Back when they burned witches, they burned a cat too because it was believed that the witch’s soul would escape to a nearby cat. There are a lot of superstitions surrounding cats.”
Citizens can report animal abuse by contacting animal control at 785-537-2112.
“I applaud animal shelters for trying to protect their
animals,” said Arkady Lake, sophomore in biology. “It’s terrible that this is a
problem, I can’t believe that some people would be so cruel as to abuse black cats
just because of a holiday.”