How Black Cats Won My Heart

So I’m a cat lady.

I’ve previously blogged about my cat, Clem, whom I believe has what it takes to be a star.  Today, I’d like to talk about my other cat, Rupert.  He recently celebrated (read: I celebrated) his seventh birthday and five year adopt-iversary.  Before I adopted Rupert, I had never given black cats much thought.  I’d never really met one, or seen them except as decorations around Halloween.  But the moment I met this cat, I knew he was the one for me.  He had bright eyes and sleek fur.  He was friendly and quick, and I could just tell he had a sense of humor.  I found him at the Ottawa Humane Society, and I was taken aback by how surprised and grateful the adoption staff were when I said he was the one I’d like to take home.  Check out his goofy face:

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Rupert always finds the dusty spots.

You may be wondering if they were surprised because he is so weird that they never thought he’d find a home.  I certainly wondered if it was because there was something wrong with him.  Yeah, he’s weird, but it turned out that wasn’t it.  They were surprised by my choice because he is black.  And black cats are apparently adopted about 50% less than any other type of cat.

Whaaaaat?

That’s right.  It’s a well-documented fact that black cats are just harder to find homes for.  There are a few suspected reasons for this:

  1. This article suggests that black cats are harder to photograph (it’s true) and potential adopters are put off because they are worried that they will have difficulty showing their cat off on social media!
  2. People are just less likely to notice a black cat, because they don’t stand out the way cats with more unique colours and patterns do.  At the shelter, if people don’t connect with the first black cat they meet, they subconsciously rule out all the others.
  3. Superstition.  Can you believe it?  Black cats are still stigmatized because of their unfortunate association with witches from hundreds of years ago.  That’s why people think of them as a Halloween thing.  But that’s not fair, because who doesn’t like Halloween?
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Everyone loves pumpkin spice!

One is not enough…

Black cats are not just for October, but I think this is a good time to share my story.   I’m so glad that I happened to pick Rupert out from the crowd, and learned about the challenges shelters face with black cats.  Less than a year later, I adopted Edna, a feisty senior cat, to keep Rupert company.  Edna passed away in the spring at the ripe old age of 15.  I could write a whole separate post about the benefits of adopting an older cat, but suffice to say that giving her a home is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had.

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Best buddies.

I’m happy to share my love of black cats with anyone who is interested!  I can tell you that they are just as sweet and fun and interesting as any other kind of cat.  And, once I had one of my very own, I started noticing that they really don’t all look the same!  Now, I find them just as individual as any cat with other colours.  I almost didn’t adopt Clem because she wasn’t black, but I’m really glad I didn’t let that get in the way.  What I’ve learned is that the most important thing is that people find the pet that is best for them, whatever the colour (but maybe black cats deserve a little extra consideration!).

What do you think?  If you were adopting a cat, would you consider a black one?  Does knowing that they are less likely to find homes change your opinion?  Do you think I lose my black-cat-fan credibility because I adopted an orange cat?

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Orange and black: Halloween cats!

The Perfect Game for Halloween!

One of my favorite hobbies is playing board games.  Luckily I have lots of friends who share this interest, and the result is that I get to play games at least once a week.  Between myself and my friends, there is a pretty impressive selection to choose from!  One of my recent favorites is a game called Mysterium.  And it just happens to be the perfect game for Halloween…

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Oooh, spooky!  How does it work?

Mysterium has a number of similarities to the classic murder mystery game Clue, but there is so much more to it.  In Mysterium, players work cooperatively to solve a murder by discovering the answers to who did it, where they did it, and what the murder weapon was.  One of the coolest twists that Mysterium brings to this concept is that one player is the ghost of the person who died, and all the other players are psychics who are using the mystical power of All Hallows Eve to communicate with the ghost and uncover the truth.  The ghost can not speak, but is able to send “visions” to the psychics, in the form of picture cards with strange, beautiful artwork, like this:

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Throughout the game, the ghost will use the vision cards to try to connect each psychic to a particular set of clues, while racing against the clock—because if the players don’t solve the mystery after seven rounds, they have failed and must wait a whole year to try again on the next Halloween (Meaning the game is over and they have lost.  Luckily, the players are free to try again right away!).

Sounds pretty cool, what should I do now?

For a thorough explanation of the game, I recommend you check out this ten minute video.  It will show you everything you need to get started right away!

If you want to try before you buy, why not head over to The Loft Board Game Lounge?  But if I’ve convinced you, and you want to go all-in, you should pick up a copy of your very own.  I got mine at Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s.

So, you think I should do this on Halloween?

Yes.  Yes I do.  You can play with up to seven of your best pals, and the game takes about 45 minutes (so you can play a few times and take turns being the ghost!).  Why not set the spooky festive mood with some candles and eerie music?  Then you just need some candy, and SHAZAM!  Best night ever.

Do you have any favorite games or Halloween traditions?