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Back in Black (2️⃣/2️⃣)

Updated: Dec 2, 2021

Did You Know?

In the early days of television in the United States, many stations located on VHF channel 13 used a black cat as a mascot in order to make sport of being located on an "unlucky" channel number.

August 17th is ‘Black Cat Appreciation Day’ in the United States, and October 27th has been designated ‘Black Cat Day’ by Cats Protection in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, to celebrate the virtues of black cats and to encourage people to adopt an unwanted black cat. Cats Protection's own figures suggest that black cats are more difficult for them to find a new home for than other colors, although black animals in general take more time to find homes.

In 2014, the RSPCA reported that 70% of the abandoned cats in its care were black, suggesting a possible reason was that people considered black cats to be "unphotogenic", compared to cats of other colours. Research by the ASPCA shows that black cats are the least likely to be adopted from shelters, of any other type of cat. In 2014, Toronto held an event on Black Friday during which people could adopt a black cat without paying the usual $75 adoption fee, in order to encourage the adoption of black cats. This trend has now spread across the United States, with many shelters offering free adoption of black cats on Black Friday.

Malevolent Moggies in Media

Salem Saberhagen is a fictional character from the American Archie Comics series Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Salem is always portrayed as a formerly human warlock, who was sentenced by the Witch's Council to spend 100 years as a cat, as punishment, in different adaptations, for trying to take over the world, for attempting to use his magic to make a mortal love him and for jilting Enchantra, the Head Witch, at the altar. Through films, TV and comic book series, Salem's appearance and backstory has changed over the years, but 1996 TV series Sabrina the Teenage Witch, stylized and even immortalised Salem as a grumpy, sarcastic and scheming black cat.

Originating as a manga series in 1991, Japanese franchise Sailor Moon has since branched out into anime, TV and film both animated and live-action, books and novels, video and tabletop games, stage musicals and ice-shaking shows, and even theme park rides and attractions. In Juban, Tokyo, a middle-school student named Usagi Tsukino befriends Luna, a talking black cat who gives her a magical brooch enabling her to transform into Sailor Moon: a soldier destined to save Earth from the forces of evil. Together, Luna and Usagi assemble a team of fellow Sailor Guardians and embark on their mission.

American adult animated sitcom The Simpsons would be nothing without their pets, Snowball (feline) and Santa's Little Helper (canine). Though a rotating lineup of Snowballs' have graced our screens, as their predecessors have met a variety of rather unfortunate ends; canonically, Snowball Ⅱ and Ⅴ were delightful little black cats. While Dr. Hibbert's car sadly meant the end for Snowball Ⅱ, after a string of bad luck for Snowball Ⅲ and Ⅳ, Snowball Ⅴ (renamed Snowball Ⅱ due to a striking resemblance) has been going strong for seventeen (cinematic) years now.

Coraline; (Neil Gaiman, 2002) children's novella and (Coraline, 2009) the film subsequently based off of it - features an unnamed, feral, stray black cat. The cat lives in the real world, despite being able to traverse between the two dimensions - and possesses the ability to talk in the Other World. Although intentionally rude and unhelpful for the greater part of the plot, the cat acts as a faithful companion and even a friend to Coraline - helping her on her journey every step of the way - accompanying her on trips to the Other World, offering her help and advice, and ultimately helping her to defeat the Bedlam, rescue her parents, and return safely back to the real world.

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