Jack’s weekly guest post – he often refers to the US and UK as
I’m not a superstitious person as a rule, although I come from a country that’s full of Things One Must Not Do. This list includes: not walking under ladders (I used to be a house-painter and did that all the time); not walking on the cracks in the sidewalk (very Stephen King, that one); throwing spilled salt over the left shoulder (that’s where the Devil hides). There are also proactive things one SHOULD do to attract good luck.
Most superstitions are the same wherever you are, but oddly enough the superstitions about black cats are exactly opposite on each side of the Atlantic. Here in the States, black cats are unlucky, whereas in Scotland they are considered very lucky indeed. Over there people will go out of their way to have a black cat ‘cross their path’. And it is considered good luck to pet one.
Did you know that American rescues and animal shelters dread getting black animals in because they are so hard to re-home? Quoting from Animal House (a great FB site for animal lovers, by the way): According to an article by Joy Montgomery, it is believed to be due to a combination of the animals “size, unclear facial features, dimly lit kennels, the genericness of black pets and/or the negative portrayal of black pets in books, movies and other popular media”. No matter the reason, the reality is heartbreaking.
We have three adorable black kittens (about ten weeks old) running around the bookstore right now waiting for their forever homes. Plus a big (ten-pounder) adult black tom–a shy, quiet gentle giant of a baby boy, equally hopeful of finding his Shangri-La. His name is Inky (Ha!). Here he is in his shelter picture, poor baby.
And of course we’ve had Valkittie – the bookstore manager–since she was four weeks old. Almost entirely black, with just a tiny white bikini and toe ring, she has brought us nothing but good luck.
So we’ve given Valkittie (who by the way is Scottish and has no truck with this bad luck nonsense) the job of making the other four naturalized Scots. That way they will always be lucky black cats, and their forever homes will be doubly blessed from taking them in.
Wherever they go, they will bring laughter; these kittens are total goofballs. Just yesterday we put a toy in their room that has a ball in a tracked groove, the kind of thing one picks up at any pet store for $10. One sat on the toy’s central disc while the other two shoved the balls with their paws, spinning him in circles.
Goofballs. Good luck goofballs. Come see for yourself, and let’s have no more of this “black cats bad” silliness. Thank you!