Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's Black. It's White.

I wish somebody could give an intelligent answer to the question everybody wants to know:  "What's wrong with adopting black or black and white cats?"

We have B and B-W kittens who have grown up in their foster homes because despite our best efforts they haven't been adopted.  Oh sure, everybody wants the oranges, calicos, or fluffy tabbies....but Black and B-W cats are overlooked.

Such is the dilemma for all rescues and shelters - dogs and cats.  I've tried reducing adoption fees, and featuring them on our home page, adoption events and adoption centres.  Yesterday, my favourite little girl named "Quinn" was FINALLY adopted after NINE months in our program:
Look how cute she is!!!  Thank heavens somebody finally saw what a treasure Quinn is and gave her a Forever Home. 

I've only known one person who has had great success at adopting B and B-W cats, bless her little heart.  She markets them beautifully with interesting names and pictures that would make you want to call about them.  I try to explain to foster parents that their choice of fostering  sweet B and B-W cats might mean more time spent in foster care.  After a while I can understand why they're discouraged.  It's a time when I wish I had been wrong. 

When a black cat is adopted in our rescue it's a great source of celebration!  I post it on Facebook and want the world to know that *somebody* thinks they're fabulous!!!   Earlier this month we had FOUR black cats adopted!!  Holy crap...I'm still amazed about that!

I have two black cats - one is a little girl named Pella who was thrown out on the highway in a box with her kittens.  NEVER was there a sweeter cat.  I can't imagine my life without her.  She puts up with more crap from those rowdy tabbies in my house than most cats wood.

I don't really expect anybody to have an answer as to why Black or Black and White cats are harder adoptions.  Simply put:   I really feel that people are missing out on some really sweet cats because of colour. 

But once again...I'm preachin' to the choir. 


Anonymous said...

Oh, I wish I knew. I have 6 black cats (including one very feral and her complete opposite off spring), 2 black and white cats and the other 3 are tabby mixes... it is not only black cats, black dogs are the least adopted too.
Nothing really all the interesting to say about the black and the black and white issue, it just "is" and that sucks.

But lets celebrate by Quinn getting adopted...yay Quinn!!!

Marg said...

I don't understand it either. We have 3 black cats here and they all have terrific personalities. I think it is just people think the ones with lots of color are pretty. It is so sad.

Anonymous said...

Hi Beth, this is Howard and George (formerly Josh)'s mom. I've never commented here before but had to thank you for fighting the good fight for black and b/w kitties. I've been the proud owner of both a black cat (Sparky) and two b/w (Zoolander and Rumple). I can honestly say they have been the sweetest, brightest cats I have ever had the privilege of loving. Unfortunately, Rumple passed away suddenly and having another black and white was a bit too painful at the time I adopted the boys. I fell in love with a couple of lovable, rowdy tabby boys this time but I'm still love the black and b/w ones. Thanks for taking a chance on them and congrats on your adoption!

All the best,

Kim said...

Such a heartbreaking reality to me. I love black and white cats the way you love tabbies! I have a black and white bugger named Marvin who we adopted directly from his old home, and a black girl named Gretchen who was in the shelter for a YEAR before we adopted her. When we found that out (we'd already decided to take her) I bawled my eyes out....I just can't discriminate against any living being because of their colour.

Alexandra said...

Zoolander!! hahahaha! that is a great name!

Sorry - now for the actual comment! I love black cats, as does my mom and best friend - we've had more of them than anything else, and they've had really nicer dispositions than many other cats (though I think it's all random for non-"bred" cats, so I think all "mutt" cats are equally nice).

That said, the part that confounds me is people thinking black cats are less attractive than other cats. They are gorgeous! Silky, midnight panther-eque (google images "panther" to see what I'm talking about) kitties with glowing eyes - I'm totally struck that everyone else doesn't love them!

Not to mention (as someone with their fair share of cat hair everywhere), if I'm leaving the house, it's to work in a dark suit or out on the weekends in dark jeans and a black top. My current fuzzy tabby love leaves hair of every color, but you can't see any evidence of my past black cats unless you look closely.

Anyways, I love black cats. Black and white seems like orange and white (or grey and white, etc) to me - I hadn't even realized there was a problem adopting those guys as well. Argh. I will continue to champion having black cats, and keep up as part of your choir!

Deb said...

I don't get it either. I'm just happy that I have three grey kittens to find homes for. Shouldn't be hard...I HOPE!

Anonymous said...

I think you mentioned it to me before about black and white cats and I remember being surprised then and reading your blog, I'm surprised all over again! :-) How can anyone *not* love black and white guys? My guys are so handsome! Always dressed up in their little tuxedos, ready for a night on the town...err...balcony. What tabbies do for you, b&w guys do for me but you knew that already... The current total here is three b&w guys (although Batman probably should count for two all on his own) and one black/brown guy. The reason we have them? Personality! I have never picked a cat on its looks (at least I'd like to think so - and furthermore, the cats have always picked *me* rather than the other way around), it was just a happy accident for me that three of the best cats in the world happened to be B8W :D And Malley (the black one) is loaded with personality too, of course!

My love for black and white or solid black cats knows no bounds!

Cindy, Bertie, Sammy, Batman, Malley and Garth.

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

My first cat was a sweet panther, black, sleek and just a little lovebug. We added another black w/white bib and her daughter, a tortie who was mostly black with touches of gold. I curently have a B/W girl...she's also a lovebug. I don't get the prejudice against black or black w/white cats either. Some people just baffle me.

selkie said...

I've always found that weird - but in the same vein as people who dump their cats when they have a kid (like cats really SUCK the breath out of a child's mouth when sleeping ... PLEASE - you don't think the Sun would be all over that?). 2 of our cats are black and are AWESOME guys - one Fat Cat (recently dethroned by a VERY fat cat Maine Coon we rescued from a situation where he was dumped because of a new baby - after EIGHT years, his entire life, with the people) plus sleek, beautiful Scully - a panther in miniature. Don't understand the prejudice. We love our brown krazy kiki too- but our black cats ROCK. I also have a VERY large goofy black dog.

Random Felines said...

We are right there with you. Our Mozart is black and couldn't be sweeter.

Mom was pretty excited last week - a couple came into the shelter and SPECIfICALLY wanted a black cat. Very awesome....too bad more people aren't interested in the CAT and not the COAT.

Anonymous said...

Should have posted my black cat comment with today's blog not yesterday's - oops

Harpurr's Mom

hmacross said...

I was never really attracted to black cats - I prefer tabbies and gingers. When we went to adopt our 2nd kitten, it was an orange one we applied for and went to meet. We came home with a black one! She is so sweet and loving, will come and sit on your lap, and purrs so much we call her the purrimator!

Now, I look at black cats differently. I can see the difference in how each cat looks. All of the black cats I know have the smoothest hair - like mink or silk.
And all the black ones I have met in the past 3 years have been lap cats! If someone wants a cuddle bug cat, I will always recommend a black one.

Josie said...

I feel the same way. Our problem is yellow tabbies (or yellow/white) and black cats. Darker colored torties without much markings...or just dark cats in general. People love tabbies, or cats that look like a breed (Siamese, etc.)

My first cat was a black cat...I have a soft spot for black kitties.

Anonymous said...

Beth, I also can't understand the difficulty with B&W kitties....also agree with the black "panther look" regal !
I have a dear friend who can't resist the b&W's.....she has a hard time saying no when she sees a "tuxedo" she's had to "put the brakes on " because she is up to 7 now and her self imposed limit was 6,lol.. A B&W does it for her every time. I agree.... they're such striking kitties ! Unfortunately we lost our little b&w girl several years ago to illness , would love to replace her, but are also "up to household limit" for now . We need to "win the lottery " lol....
To Caroline : Thanks for the helpful hint heading out for pee pads tomorrow. Baytril seems to have the lakes under control for now..but just in case we have re-runs.....emergency supply. Many thanks..much appreciated.
love Gail

Daisy said...

My B&W brother Harley lived at the shelter for 6 months and nobuddy wanted him. We cannot figure it out, but my Mommeh is thrilled that he was there when we were ready to adopt again.

Ellstar said...

That's so weird, I have a black cat AND a black and white cat, super adorable the both of them.

EV said...

That's funny because I grew up with black cats, two beautiful brothers who basically were my best buddies growing up. Actually, at age 12 I used to refer to them as my "sons." Aaaanyway, black cats were my life for 17 years, and then when I started fostering with you and had all sorts of other coloured creatures make themselves at home in my apartment, at which point I was like, "Oooh, black and white. Beautiful. Ahhhh, a grey boy. So handsome. Tabby cats! Like little tigers! Fluffy white guys! Aarrrrghhh!" and I kind of could see how charming other colours could be. But now seeing black critters makes me fall in love with THEM all over again.

I guess you're forced to be more clever when it comes to marketing them simply because many people think a lack of markings is boring, or because there's definitely something dominant about the black cat gene and so you find they're quite common. Maybe you could get some of the better marketing foster parents to give some tips to the other black cat fosterers. I personally think a good write-up can make the difference between clicking on 'next' at or feeling like you simply HAVE to meet that cat, as unfair as that may be (because obviously pretty much all cats have their own endearing charms that could be shouted about).