RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre is seeking homes for two black beauties on Hallow’een while trying to debunk the myths surrounding black felines.
The animal charity hopes fans of All Hallows’ Eve will consider taking on a special pet as its Adoptober rehoming appeal comes to a close. The month-long rehoming drive has encouraged more people to consider fostering and adopting rescue pets, including black cats, who often stay longer at the charity’s rescue centres.
More black and black and white cats are abandoned than other felines, while they also struggle to be rehomed, and this could be because of some people’s perception of black cats and down to myths around them. Black cats traditionally symbolise good luck, but around Hallo’ween some people associate them with superstition and witches.
Staff and volunteers at RSPCA Stapeley Grange celebrated National Black Cat on October 27 by showcasing a bevy of black beauties in their cattery. They include two cats, Storm and Frankie, who were both rescued as strays living on the streets.
Storm was suffering from a skin infection due to a flea allergy and was terrified of people before the one-year-old feline settled down in the centre’s cattery. While Frankie (pictured in a recovery collar) came into the centre as a tiny kitten with a part of one of his back legs missing. He underwent amputation surgery and is thriving on three legs and, like Storm, is now looking for loving new owners.
RSPCA Stapeley Grange manager Lee Stewart said: “Our black cats develop a special bond with their carers, staff and volunteers alike, but for sometimes bizarre reasons they are often the cats who stay with us the longest.
“In days gone by black cats were seen as harbingers of good and bad luck alike. Now other reasons suggested are that they are more difficult to photograph for social media posts because of their colour.
“But while cats like Storm (pictured left) and Frankie are often overlooked, they really are sleek, incredible individuals who will make fantastic family members for those discerning enough to adopt them.”
More than 2,000 black cats came into the RSPCA’s national animal centres between 2019 and 2021 and many more arrived at the charity’s large network of branches. During the same period the charity rehomed 2,260 black cats, but on average it took 30 days for a black cat to find a forever home compared to 16 days for a grey tabby.
The cost of living crisis has added to the number of cats coming into RSPCA care – between 2021 and 2022 there was a four percent increase in intake.
Lee added: “Frankie was nowhere near Hollywood when he arrived with us in September this year. He was fighting for survival on the streets of a local town and one of his back legs ended in an exposed piece of bone, with the toes and lower part of the leg missing.
“Our specialist cat vet amputated the remaining part of his leg and as he came to from the anaesthetic was amazed how this brave boy stood up on his three legs, purred and rubbed himself against his hand.
“Frankie’s problems have never stopped him running around and playing like any other kitten. He is ten weeks’ old and whoever is lucky enough to adopt him is going to be the envy of everyone.
“Storm was terrified when she came to us, but after vet treatment and hours of patient socialisation she now seeks out our volunteers and sits happily on their laps. She has made amazing progress in a short period of time, although she may need a little time to settle in at her new home and would benefit from an adopter who has previous experience of cats and an adult-only home.”
The RSPCA launched its Adoptober rehoming campaign through October because the charity is facing its biggest rehoming crisis in recent memory. Its rescue centres and branches are full to bursting with unwanted animals as more animals come into care than are being adopted.
The number of animals rehomed dropped by five percent from 2021 to 2022 falling to 25,535 animals in 2022, compared to 26,945 during the previous year, while there has been a longer-term collapse in rehoming rates which have fallen by 34% from three years ago (in 2019) – when 39,178 animals were rehomed.
Anyone interested in adopting Storm or Frankie can complete Stapeley Grange’s perfect match form.