The story concerns a rescue centre in Bristol, UK. It is reported in the Times newspaper that for the first time all 40 of their cats left at the shelter are black because no one wants them.
The reporter puts down their lack of appeal to the fact that people cannot take good pictures of the cats to upload to social media. What they say is that when people adopt cats they want to take photographs of their cat; either selfies or straight photographs which they want to share with others. Black cats are indeed hard to photograph but this surely cannot be the reason why all 40 cats at the shelter are black. Black cats can in fact look stunning in photos provided you know what you are doing in terms of photo technique.
Look at these photos below taken by a variety of photographers:
The Times also speculates that their lack of appeal is not down the superstition. The administrators of the rescue center concerned, Moggery at Bishopston, tell us that the popularity of photo sharing websites such as Instagram is to blame for the culture of “any color but black” trend. The founder of this cat rescue organisation, Christine Bayka, 67, said that prospective owners wanted a pet that looked good in photographs. She says that it is a narcissistic use of social media. When she asks prospective adopters whether they are flexible about colour they respond by saying “Yes, as long as it’s not black”.
Another rescue center, Last Chance Animal Rescue, in new Romney, Kent, UK is also struggling to rehome black cats. There are seven at the rescue currently. She said:
“People seem caught up in taking photos and putting them on Facebook and Instagram and they want a model animal that they can put across social media.”
Comment: I’m not sure that they are completely correct to be perfectly honest. As mentioned, black cats are harder to photograph and people want to take photographs of their cat because they want to show off their cat on social media. Yes, I agree that but what they are implying is that black cats don’t look good and that other coat types and colours look better. The photos above disprove this.
The issue is that this goes back to the same, age-old, problem that people in general dislike the colour of black cats. They want something more flashy. It is the usual problem of people being caught up in appearance and liking possessions with a pleasant appearance. It is inherent in human culture. This is why manufacturers make products as good-looking as possible. It is relating to domestic cats as a product that one might buy in a department store. Humans need to get over this.
I had never heard of a rescue centre having 40 black cats all of which need to be rehomed. This is clearly a dire situation and I’m not sure how it can be resolved because the problem is deeply entrenched.