Today is Black Cat Appreciation Day, which means it’s time for us to celebrate our many dark-furred feline friends!

The holiday, designed to honor the bond between humans and their beloved companion animals, began just five years ago when a man named Wayne Morris launched a Facebook campaign to observe the day. Wayne chose August 17 in memory of his late sister (June) and her black cat (Sinbad).

Since then, animal enthusiasts have observed this holiday by posting photos and discussing their love for black cats on all corners of social media. If you’d like to join in the fun, feel free to head over to the MUTTS Facebook page and share your favorite black cat photo or story.

In the past, black cats faced prejudice and mistreatment due to their associations with witchcraft and bad luck. But nowadays, with superstitions all but gone (thank goodness!), shelter workers say these animals’ most common obstacle is a perceived “genericness” by would-be guardians. Despite their sleek beauty, these felines are often passed over in favor of those with more distinctive or seemingly photo-friendly coats.

Patrick’s own Not Ootie, an all-black cat, was homeless and feral when they first met. Over time, they developed a very strong bond, and Patrick now has a special place in his heart for black cats.

For these reasons — and because we think black kitties are just lovely creatures in general — the MUTTS team is joining thousands of others in celebrating Black Cat Appreciation Day. While we care about all animals big and small, dark or light or multi-colored or hairless, we agree that these special felines deserve an extra dose of TLC — and a holiday of their own.

Want to help? There are thousands of lovable black cats across the country who need forever homes. If you’d like to adopt one, visit your local shelter or search the ASPCA’s online pet finder to locate one today.

Already live with a black cat? Give him or her a belly rub, a few extra pats behind the ears, a treat, or a new toy — a Little Pink Sock, perhaps? Whatever you choose, just be sure your furry friend can feel your appreciation on this special day.

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