Marvel’s recently released Black Panther has managed to surpass any expectations, winning over audiences and critics alike.
Based on Stan Lee’s iconic comic of the same name, Black Panther has been lauded for helping minority audiences by providing positive representation of strong black characters.
Image Via Marvel
Lee’s Black Panther introduced the first mainstream black superhero, creating (and inspiring) superheroes that people of color can identify with and be inspired by. This representation can be incredibly beneficial for audiences, particularly youth.
As Rolling Stone put it, “An entire generation of children will now know that a black superhero, society, imagination and power can exist right alongside Peter Parker, Steve Rogers and Bruce Wayne.”
Audiences aren’t the only ones benefitting from the film, however. There is another group Wakanda has helped, and it comes in the form of furry felines.
Image Via Unsplash
According to tumblr user gallusrostromegalus, the success of Black Panther has led to an unexpected demand for black cats in shelters near Durango, Colorado.
“Unexpected Benefit of Black Panther: My local pet shelters went from having something like 50-60 black cats between them to having NONE, because they’ve all been adopted out and named after the characters.”
If the success of Black Panther has indeed inspired the adoptions of black cats then that is a pretty big deal.
Black cats have long been discriminated against; according to Peta, black cats are “two-third less likely to get adopted than white cats.“
Image Via Taringa
This may be due to cultural views on black cats, who have historically been characterized as unlucky and associated with supernatural phenomenon, including witches and Halloween, but this negative association may see a turning point thanks to Chadwick Boseman’s positive portrayal of Black Panther.
In a followup post gallusrostromegalus wrote that while one shelter owner disagreed with the idea that Black Panther inspired people to adopt a cat, she did think the film inspired potential cat owners to choose black cats over white cats. They said:
According to Mary who runs the cattery, these cats are mostly being adopted to people who were looking to adopt *A* cat in general, then see the black kitties and go “LIKE BLACK PANTHER” and take them home, so for once, black cats are being adopted first.
Not only has the love for Black Panther inspired potential owners to adopt black cats, but it has inspired the names in which they chose.
“‘T’challa’ is the most popular, but there are a fair number of ‘Okoye’s and ‘Shuri’s as well,” they wrote.
So if you live near Durango and see an adorable black cat roaming the streets, don’t hesitate to call out ‘T’challa’.
Featured Image Via Unsplash/Marvel