This one goes out to Boo. The greatest cat ever.
The urban legend that black cats are sacrificed by clandestine satanic cults around the world at Halloween is one that has probably been in circulation since before the United States was settled. Since medieval times in Europe, where you could be burned or hanged simply for being an unwed woman in her forties or even for so much as looking at someone funny, there is probably no greater time for religious hysteria than now in the age of the internet where it would seem that everyone believes everything they read.
In many pagan circles, cats hold a certain significance. They don’t have to be black cats, either, but because of superstitions about black cats, in general, it has the power to stick out in people’s minds as sinister. Because of their often detached personalities, distant and predatory at times while at others, deeply affectionate, cats have a tendency to make some people nervous. The outsider natural healers of ancient Europe were often times the same kinds of people called Cat Ladies today and during their trials and subsequent executions, their cats were often thrown into the fire with them for being living channels to the devil. Sometimes called familiars. However, thanks to a persistent policy of no cat adoptions at many animal shelters around the country, the belief goes on that satanic cults working just below the public consciousness gather up all the cats they can get their hands on and sacrifice them to the devil, which goes against pretty much everything that modern pagans, even actual satanists believe in.
Obviously this is not true. It never was. It’s a really stupid hysterical superstition that most of Europe has given up on, the place that the legend began, yet a lot of really dumb-ass Americans still believe in. The sad truth is that fucked up people out there in the world make a sport out of hurting or killing these animals for pranks and good times or they adopt a black cat from a shelter, use it as some kind of Halloween decoration and then abandon it when they feel the prop no longer has any use or any welcome in their home. It’s a sad fact but it’s true and it continues to happen.
This isn’t to say that it doesn’t happen, though. There are plenty of cases of pseudo-satanic rituals carried out by crazies or stupid teenagers wearing too much fishnet and eyeliner to know that no matter what they do, there aren’t enough black cats in the world to sacrifice to turn them into real vampires via magic and rescue them from their boring suburban lives. Most people are just getting carried away with their Halloween night mischief. Shelters have a really hard time this time of year and spend a lot more time screening the people who are out to adopt cats so why don’t you do them a favor and kick some money their way? They could really use it.