The Black Panther Effect: Increased Adoptions of Black Cats at Animal Shelters?

The popularity of the Marvel movie Black Panther cannot be denied. It is a critical and box office success. In less than three weeks, it has grossed $730 million dollars in theaters. Costing a reported $200 million to make, it currently ranks as the third highest grossing film in the Marvel Comics Universe surpassed only by The Avengers and the Age of Ulton.

The success of Black Panther has pushed the movie industry to consider increased minority presence in mainstream Hollywood films. The huge impact of the film on African-American culture has been written about here, here, and here. Screenrant.com has an article on a trend emerging that the makers of Black Panther may not have foreseen: the increased adoptions of black cats.

As noted in the piece, (read the whole thing here) Black cats have some longstanding negative cultural connotations. They are considered bad luck. They are also associated with witchcraft. In some places, they are literally witches that shape shift into feline form. Those negative connotations have translated into difficulty for black cats in shelters to find permanent homes. That difficulty seems to be disappearing (at least anecdotally) thanks to the popularity of Black Panther. The screenrant article cites a tumblr poster named gallusrostromegalus who wrote “…my local pet shelters went from having something like 50-60 black cats between them to having NONE…they’ve all been adopted…” The poster further states that the most popular names given to the adopted black cats were taken from the movie.

While the adoption of these black cats has trended upward because of the film. One concern has come to light: What happens when the popularity of the film fades?

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