Black cats unsuitable for selfies? Sufferin’ succotash!
Article on black cats in ‘history’ taken from The Observer, 3rd August, by Michael Hogan, see link below to read the riginal article.
Poor black cats. For centuries, they have faced hostility for being an unlucky omen. Now they’ve got a new challenge on their paws. This week, the RSPCA reported that 70% of all abandoned cats are black, or black and white. Depressingly, the charity reckons it’s because “generation selfie” (that’s us, apparently) is spurning monochrome moggies because they don’t look good in photos. So in the interests of feline PR, it seems timely to remind ourselves of some of the coolest black cats from popular culture…
Behemoth (The Master and Margarita)
In Russian novelist Mikhaíl Bulgakov’s masterpiece, this huge black cat (as large as a hog) was capable of walking on his hind legs and talking. Being a member of Satan’s entourage, Behemoth was demonic, devious and carried a pistol. He also had penchants for chess, vodka, pickled mushrooms and sarcasm. Hey, who hasn’t?
How he’d look in a selfie: However he likes. He’s a roguish shapeshifter who can even transform into a human for brief periods.
Snowball II (The Simpsons)
After Snowball, the Simpson family’s white cat, was run over, she was replaced by this stoical, furball-coughing black one, named after its predecessor to avoid buying a new food bowl. She’s never been as well-loved as pet greyhound Santa’s Little Helper, despite having rescued Homer from a burning treehouse and briefly becoming a local hero.
How she’d look in a selfie: Spooked. Yellow-eyed. Probably coughing up a furball.
John Lennon’s Salt
Over his lifetime, Lennon owned 15 cats – from Elvis, his childhood pet, to one named Jesus and rescued strays Major and Minor. When Alice, the Beatle’s beloved Russian Blue, jumped out of his Dakota apartment window to her death, it was the only time Sean Lennon ever saw his father cry. While with Yoko Ono in the 70s, Lennon had a black cat named Salt and a white one called Pepper. See what they did there?
How they’d look in a selfie: Like cool cats in a beat-up car, talking about how sharp they are.
Black-and-white “tuxedo” cats appear regularly in pop culture – see also Mr Mistoffelees, Felix, Figaro from Pinocchio and Postman Pat’s Jess – but the best-known is Looney Tunes’ Sylvester J Pussycat, who had a pronounced lisp and was forever devising cunning plans to catch Tweety Pie or Speedy Gonzales. Voiced by Mel Blanc, he was in 103 “golden age” cartoons and won three Oscars. Sufferin’ succotash!
How he’d look in a selfie: Elusive. I tawt I saw a puddy cat…