My two cats are black. Sure, they’ve got a little white here and there, tuxedo-style. It gives them character, style … pizzaz, even. Yet if you asked the average Joe, he wouldn’t hesitate to lump mine with every other black-enough-to-be-a-black-cat out there. And everyone knows black cats are the pits.

Or so they tell me. Seems that black is out for pets. While it might work well for strong coffee, fast cars, little dresses and patent leather, the color has its detractors on the pet front. Apparently, people don’t like to adopt black pets of any species.

Big black dogs have it bad, the fear factor being what it is, but black cats of any dimension arguably have it worse. There are just so damn many of them! Coincidentally, today I enjoyed a Starbucks happy hour with a professional rescuer who painted most long-term pet sanctuary residents in fulgent feline tones. Yes, black cats are at the dark bottom of the pet adoption pecking order.

It’s depressing enough to hear that people abandon or fail to adopt pets of any color. But for some reason it’s downright wrist-splittingly wrong that we might take special pains to avoid a subset of these unfortunates.

Sure, it might be subconscious, but it nonetheless irks me that people would actively select a beloved companion using criteria as superficial as hair coloration. Especially, I reason, when the adopter in question understands that others are likely to avoid the black ones.

Yes, by all rights, it is we who should be snatching up those who others have so blatantly avoided. But human psychology is a tough master. And we, its slaves, are no match for its oppressive suggestions on things as crucial as what coat our cat wears. Or so the psychobabble goes.

But I digress. Back to a useful point:

In case you missed last week’s discussion of this topic, June is Adopt-A-Cat month. Because we seem to have a month for everything else, the busy cat rescue people figured, "Why not one for feline adoptions?" And June was it.

Timed perfectly to coincide with kitten season, the start of summer begs us to help make a special effort to place kittens, especially, before they make the inevitable leap into not-as-cute-anymore adolescence.

If June it must be, June 30th, then, would seem the ideal date to make one last ditch effort to place a cat or a kitten. How 'bout then this year we all Tweet, Facebook, Digg or otherwise proclaim this date as Adopt-A-Black Cat Day, thereby bringing eyeballs to bear on this overlooked subset of the wanting?

Dr. Patty Khuly

Pic of the day: Blue eyes by Masterdreams

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