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Never Judge A Book By Its Cover

This story was written by Heaven Can Wait Animal Society supporter Gianna Aleman, in response to the blog post about the many superstitions people have about black cats and black and white cats.  They are the most likely felines to be euthanized at an animal shelter.

Please make sure to leave your comment about a story that appears on the blog, and it may become a story of its own, like Gianna’s below. 

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I just read your blog about black and black & white cats and superstitions.  Makes me so sad.  Throughout my life I’ve had several cats, and 2 of the most loving were Blaki, a solid black cat and Harley, one of my current cats, who is black and white.  As a youngster I had to fight family superstitions when I brought Blaki home, it’s so crazy.

I owned Blaki in the late 80s, early 90s.  My friend and I found her, a few weeks old, in an abandoned car in NYC, where I grew up.  She was surrounded by her litter mates and her mother, who were all dead.  We brought her to my friend’s house for the night so I could have a chance to convince my grandparents to let me keep her.  After losing her on the floor, because she was sleeping on a black tile in a white and black checkered floor, I brought her home where she kept me company.  She used to wake me up in the morning by gently nibbling on my fingertips.  She was lovely.


Now, Harley is the sweetest, soppiest, and most loving cat who ever lived.  He’s converted many ‘dog’ people to loving cats and most want to take him home with them.


He was adopted from a shelter in New Jersey as an adult, after his homeless owner was sent to a homeless shelter where they did not accept pets.  At the time the police picked up his owner, Harley and his human were living in the town cemetery.  The only things the man had with him was a kennel, a bag of cat food and a jug of water for Harley.  

The animal shelter held on to Harley as long as they could for the gentleman, but after a while he realized Harley would be better off adopted, so he signed him over to the animal shelter.  

Harley was so trusting and well socialized from day one, I know he was loved and cared for by the homeless gentleman who owned him.  

Five years later I still think of the gentle homeless soul who loved and raised Harley in spite of his circumstances.  When I look at that sweet face it makes me smile and reminds me never to judge a book by its cover; not only because Harley is black and white, but because of the homeless PERSON who cared for him so lovingly.  I think we all sometimes need to be reminded of our humanity, but society has a way of using labels to look THROUGH living beings instead of AT them.

Thank you for the work you do, Heaven Can Wait.

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Don’t forget – this is the last week for the spay/neuter special. Through October 31st, Heaven Can Wait Animal Society is offering a special to all owners of black or black & white cats. HCWS will spay or neuter your male or female cat for only $25! You can call the clinic to make your appointment at (702) 227-5555 (option #2) or e-mail us at: clinic@hcws.org


3 Responses

  1. God bless the homeless man. I hope his lot in life changed. He truly was kind to let his friend have a better life.

  2. i to have had several black cats in my life. i have had nothing but loving and gentle companions. i now have an adopted cat and we have bonded so much.

  3. Thank you for such a wonderful story. I really look forward to your blog, you always seem to have something hopeful to report. There are so many sad ones so yours is a ray of light. I also have a black cat, Henry.

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