Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

October is Black Cat Awareness Month

October is Black Cat Awareness Month.

A whole month dedicated to one of the best cat colours around.

Although all the rest are equally good 🙂


Think of it like quantum physics and infinite universes – where every possibility exists somewhere, so even thought there is a ‘best’ in each universe, overall, the probability is the same for them all, so they’re all… equal.

Black Cat crossing

Many superstitions surrounding the feline with sable fur, and if you’re daft enough to believe in such things, then there is good news. If you thought this event meant bad luck – all you have to do is look elsewhere and take your pick of superstitions, since different cultures assign different meaning.

Different cultures across the world have superstitious beliefs which claim either good or bad luck when a black cat crosses one’s path. Some sayings implicate good luck when black cat crosses: “Black cat, cross my path – good fortune bring to home and hearth. When I am away from home, bring me luck wherever I roam” (an old English one). “Whenever the cat of the house is black, the lasses of lovers will have no lack” (an English proverb). Some say crossing a black cat could mean Saturn is not favourable for you. Folklore from Sussex claims that black cats are suspected to be witches, so crossing their path would mean bad luck. In China, they are believed to bring famine and poverty. On the other hand, Latvian farmers believe black cats are the spirit of Rungis, the god of harvest, and when they find black cats in their granary, they become overjoyed.

Good Luck

  • In Germany, it is believed that if a black cat crosses left to right, then good luck will follow.
  • According to the beliefs of 19th century pirates, if a black cat walked away from someone, it meant good luck.

Bad luck

  • If you believe in bad luck when black cat crosses your path, you may also believe that if you walk backwards ten steps, then turn around three times, then the bad luck will be repelled.
  • In Germany, it is believed that if a black cat crosses right to left, then bad luck will follow.
  • According to the beliefs of 19th century pirates, if a black cat walked towards someone, it meant good luck.
  • Gamblers believe that if a black cat crosses their path when are about to play, then means bad luck for them.
  • When driving, if a black cat crosses it is believed that one should turn around and go back to avoid bad luck.
  • In western and southern Europe, a black cat crossing one’s path is said to bring bad luck.

None of these choices is going to have an effect on your luck, one way or another, but your current happiness level might rise if the cat approaches you, and you get to pet it.

We would like to remind you that Groucho Marx was right. All it means when a black cat walks in front of you is that the animal is going somewhere, and should either be pet, fed treats, or left well enough alone.


Groucho Marx Black Cat


Bonus – History of International Black Cat Awareness Month

The creation of International Black Cat Awareness Month, founded back in 2013, came about after it’s creator, Layla Morgan Wilde, noticed that while there were two days dedicated to black cats, one in the UK and one in the US, there was nothing dedicated to them on a wider level. Such a dedication was (and still is) desperately needed, as superstitions surrounding black cats have become so out of control that shelters won’t have begun to suspend adopting them out during October. Too often the cats were being adopted as part of the Halloween holiday mystique, and were abandoned, or worse, after the holiday had passed.

Even for the rest of the year, it can be more difficult to get them adopted. How much more difficult? Black cats adoption rates are some 50% lower than any other colour of cat.

That’s just plain crazy, and we can’t understand this at all.

A sable furred cat is perhaps one of the most beautiful animals to walk the earth.

Black Cat Relaxes

Black Cat Relaxes

At the end of the day, this stupidity arising from superstition amounts to nothing less than (an excuse for) animal cruelty and abuse.

Chances are anyone who uses these ‘rules’ to mock you is a bully, a racist, or worse.

If you can do anything to dispel it, please do.

Black Cat Support Group


Time to end black cat discrimination

I wasn’t fully aware of the discrimination or victimisation of black cats today, until I spotted this ‘Awareness Month’ some time ago.

Since then, I’ve been following the updates on LoveMeow, and been saddened to see that this is not only a fact, but current.

Over the time I’ve been getting their updates, I’ve seen the mother cats with black kittens being left in shelters while their coloured litters find ‘Forever Homes’.

Possibly the saddest part of this observation is that those leaving the black kittens behind are rescuers. They should know better.

Here’s one of the most recent, sad, examples:

Stray Cat Brought to Clinic in a Carrier – Staff are Surprised to Find Newborn Kittens Inside

Mama Tulip and her little panther kitty Violet are still available.

“Tulip is a talkative, affectionate girl and has a really sweet personality. She likes to knead the blanket I have in the room and she purrs the whole time! She and Violet love to play together,” Natalie told Love Meow.

Panther kitten left behind

Panther kitten left behind

01/10/2019 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Today is International Coffee Day

01 October is International Coffee Day.

We drink coffee morning, day and night. You have only to walk down the nearest high street and note the number of rotten coffee chains selling a cup of coffee for a truly ridiculous ÂŁ2 or more to realise the extent of our love affair with our favourite caffeinated beverage.

Discount supermarkets now sell pretty good ground coffee will provide 30 cups of freshly brewed coffee for a little more than ÂŁ1, and if you’ll accept their cheapest instant, you’ll currently get around 60 cups for ÂŁ1.49.

That’s LESS than the price of one those disgusting high street franchises.

Ask yourself where all the money being taken by those franchises goes.

Coffee Day marks the long history of the drink: the properties of coffee beans are thought to have first been discovered in Ethiopia. The beans are actually the pits found in the coffee berry or cherry, with the story being that a 9th century goat herder noticed their stimulating effects on his goats and began experimenting.

Coffee drinking was originally popularised in the Arab world from around the 15th century, spreading across Asia, then to Italy and across Europe and to the Americas – eventually reaching  your coffee cup.

Today, coffee is one of the world’s biggest crops so buying ethically grown coffee is all the more important – be sure to be selective in buying your cup of coffee and supporting ethical trade (and remember that franchise profiteering).

See also International Coffee Organisation

Although I’ve collected a few types of coffee maker (for ground coffee) over the years, I never found one I liked – apart from one with a milk frother, which worked quite well, but was ultimately just too much hassle to use regularly.

Discounting the ridiculously overpriced, to buy AND keep fed with hugely overpriced ‘pods’, I added the pair shown below in recent months.

Interestingly, the same ground coffee source does taste different from each, with each having a ‘best’ option. It seems the two methods of operation extracts a slightly different selection of flavours from the grounds.

That said, both work well (especially compared to some of my percolators, which just extracted too many odd flavours), although I have now settled on two Aldi roasts, one best in each of them, and providing a nice variation.

And, they avoid having to make a gallon of the stuff each time (which goes ‘off’ if kept hot), and provide just the right amount for one fresh cup/mug.

Coffee Makers

Coffee Makers

01/10/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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