Something you may not have known is that August 17th is Black Cat Appreciation Day. This is a day for us to let our appreciation be known for these demons in feline form, these bringers of bad luck, these companions of witches and evildoers, lest they bring their displeasure down upon us all!

Or not.

A black cat is lying curled around the right side of a large book. his teeth and front claws are wrapped around the top corner. The title of the book is Devastation: the world's worst natural disastersNow, black cats are definitely not harbingers of absolute devastation. In fact, they’re quite nice. Or at least I think so!

Black Cat Appreciation Day is here because apparently some people still believe these awful things about black cats. Or at least cat societies, shelters, and SPCAs have noticed that it often takes longer for black cats to be adopted than their more colourful counterparts.

A black cat curled in a ball on a white cushion. He is a black blob with a tail. All detail has disappeared into a void of black.Part of this could be that people still feel that there is something unlucky or uncanny about black cats. Or it could be that nowadays so many people fall in love with a picture of a cat they see on an adoption website, and black cats don’t always photograph too well. Look at this snoozy gentleman on the right. You can tell there’s a cat there, but all detail has disappeared into THE VOID of DARKNESS.

There are plenty of black cats who are not beings of evil both in the world and in fiction. Surely you all read Slinky Malinki (let’s not mention Scarface Claw) as children? And then there’s the black cat in Coraline, and the excellent Kaspar: Prince of Cats. You must remember Thackery Binks from Hocus Pocus as a black cat who definitely was NOT helping the witches. Or there’s Salem Saberhagen who hangs out with Sabrina Spellman and depending on your interpretation may be slightly evil but is still more loyal than you’d expect.

Anyway, as part of Black Cat Appreciation Day I’m going to highlight some of the black cats who belong to your librarians. There are a few out there, and they’re all excellent cats!

Two cats sitting on each knee of their owner. The left cat is white with black ears and a black splodge on her back. The right cat is black with a white chest and white whiskers. Both have yellow eyes.These two are Princess Holly (left and not as relevant to today’s theme but still an excellent cat) and Le Beau (right). Le Beau can most often be found making nests in the long grass in the garden. Is Le Beau a bird or a cat?

Well… cat, obviously. 

Shot from below, Oz is looking majestically off to the right. He has a bright blue bow around his neck that contrasts brilliantly with his sleek black fur.This is Oz. Oz is “a big ball of need”. If you are Oz’s owner, Oz will sit on you. If you are nearby, Oz will sit on you. If you have a lap, Oz will sit on you.

And doesn’t he look handsome with that blue bow around his neck? Definitely not a minion of devils and demons.

A black cat sitting on the edge of a table with a copy of Two Raw Sisters standing open in front of him to stop him moving any further forward. He has a small white patch under his chin, and a look of complete and utter betrayal in his golden eyes.This is Poot. Poot is obviously the best of the bunch because he is my cat and since I’m writing this I get to say what I like.

Poot is a distinguished gentleman of fourteen and is still super snuggly and, as demonstrated in this picture, may sometimes need a book barricade to stop him sitting uncomfortably close to you while you eat. It’s very hard not to give in to that look of betrayal though!

A black cat being held towards the camera. Her front paws rest on the wrist of the person holding her. Her yellow eyes are open very wide and her pupils are very round.This is Shavana. She’s not a huge fan of being held and prefers to come hang out with you only when she feels like it. She is a very respectable thirteen years old so I’d say she’s allowed to do what she wants.

Look how huge her eyes are! Maybe she’s watching some eldritch spirits pass by…

A dainty black cat lying on a platform. Her front paws are slightly hanging over the edge towards the camera and her pale yellow eyes are slightly downcast.This is Tove. She is eight and was named, of course, after Moomin creator Tove Jansson. As an extremely dainty and literary creature she could never ever be thought to be a bringer of bad luck. Look at those neat wee paws!

Do you ap-purr-eciate Tove?

A large white and grey spotted dog lies with his head cushioned on a large black cat.This is Wolfram, pictured here with Tama. As you can see, cats and dogs can definitely be friends, and Wolfram is a very patient cat and a very excellent pillow.

Also, can you see those kangaroo ears of his?

The last black cat on this list is in fact a black Kat. She is a very good girl so I don’t see why a difference of one letter should stop her being included here. I’m sure none of you will object!

So those are some of our black cats. They are all very excellent, very loved, and always very appreciated and I am very pleased to have been able to share them all with you.

I will leave you with one last picture of Poot snoozing in the sun with toe beans on display because, as I said, I’m the one writing this so I can do what I want.

Poot lies sleeping curled on his side on top of a newspaper in the sun. His head is resting on his front paws and his back paws with their toe beans are extended towards the camera.