Even though modern science has dispelled the darkness surrounding black cats, superstitions about them still exist. Dating back to the 13th century, these felines were declared incarnations of evil, and their association with witches was later secured. Their reputation was made worse during the Plague, when cats were thought to spread the disease. Eventually, even having a black cat cross your path became an ill omen. However, in some cultures—notably Scotland and Japan—black cats have been revered for their ability to bring prosperity! Black cats can be found in any breed of cat, and the contrast between their dark coats and colored eyes give them a striking appearance. In an ironic twist, scientists have found that black cats are able to resist some diseases better than their colored counterparts; this may be due to the presence of a melanism mutation. Some black cats’ fur may turn to a “rust” color after exposure to the sun or if their diet lacks an enzyme called Tyrosine. In some serious cases, a black cat’s fur that turns brownish may indicate liver disease, thyroid problems and kidney disease.
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