Tuesday 27 February 2018

Spike in Black Cat Adoptions Because of Black Panther Film Is Worrying

We are told that the latest CGI, all action, fantasy film for young people called Black Panther has resulted in a sharp spike in adoptions of black cats at shelters in America. On the face of it is excellent news. Of course it is. Black cats are unpopular. Anything to improve their adoption rate must be welcomed.

Photos copyright Helmi Flick
However, being cynical as I am, my mind turned to the apparent fecklessness of this phenomenon. Whereas normally people are reluctant to adopt black cats, when a popular film which is a transient form of entertainment alters opinions overnight such that black cat adoptions rise steeply then it seems to me that the people who are suddenly adopting these cats may change their minds in the not too distant future once they have hit reality and realized that they are not adopting a miniature black panther but a real cat with all the incumbent responsibilities.

Perhaps I'm being too cynical. Of course I welcome the news. Apparently these adopters are keen to adopt black panthers but they can't do that because black panthers are either melanistic leopards, jaguars or cougars. They are large wild cats which are black or near black and pretty well impossible to have as pets. Although it must be said that some people do have mountain lions as pets.

Driven by the desire to have a black panther as a pet they turn to black domestic cats instead and these people name their cats after the names of the characters in the film. It almost seems like they want to play act the film in their living rooms. It doesn't feel good to me.

Incidentally, there is a black cat which is purebred. It is the Bombay Cat. This is a standard shaped domestic cat in all respects save that the coat has been selectively bred to be shiny, jet black like patent leather shoes. They might like to adopt one of these cats. A picture of this cat is featured on this page.

It would be nice to do a follow-up page on this story to see whether the sharp increase in adoptions of black cats persists. One blogger mentioned that her local pet shelters have been cleared out of black cats whereas normally there are between 50 and 60 left languishing in cages because nobody wants them. A pleasant phenomenon indeed but is it enduring?

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