An animal rights group in Italy has started an initiative called “black cat day” this Saturday in an effort to try and stop the senseless killing of thousands of the cats by superstitious citizens who want to ward off bad luck.
Black cats are considered both bad omens and good omens in some countries.
In Italy, black cats are considered bad luck. A papal edict in the middle ages declared black cats were instruments of the devil. So, many Italians threw them onto fires along with witches burned at the stake as part of a ritual.
But today, the Italian Association for the Defense of Animals and the Environment (AIDAA) estimates a minimum of 60,000 cats were killed last year alone. They report the cats are killed in an effort to ward off bad luck. The black cats are also reportedly used in satanic rites as well as cosmetics laboratories that prefer black fur for testing.
In an effort to educate Italians and stop the killing of black cats, a group has started "Black Cat Day" that encourages adoption.
AIDAA President Lorenzo Croce told Reuters: "We want to halt this massacre, educate people and restore dignity to black cats,"
The group will post 200 information points in towns and cities around Italy, pass out fliers to passersby, and try to deter more killing rituals. The group will also try and ask Italian citizens to sign a petition and urge them to adopt one of the 5,000 cats in animal shelters.
Croce said AIDAA has also sent a letter to Pope Benedict who is a well-known cat lover. They would like the Pope to speak out against these senseless killings. If he does, Croce said it will help minimize this brutality.
Personally, I am glad this does not happen to the same extent in the U.S. or Canada. I hope the Italian government does something about this, and I honestly can’t believe people still practice these ghastly rituals in today's age.
If one doesn't want bad luck, start doing good things. Killing a cat is not going to help. Scientifically speaking, they are no different than other cats.