Black Cat Initiative: Hearts In the Dark

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I'm so thrilled to announce a new series of mini prints:

Hearts In the Dark

For the past few weeks, I've been working with my friend and brilliant local artist, E.B. Goodale, to launch a black cat initiative called Hearts In the Dark. Today, we're both releasing a new series of limited edition prints, to raise awareness and funds for our favorite local animal shelters:

Hearts In the Dark: Set of Three by E.B. Goodale

View and shop mine HERE

View and shop E.B. Goodale prints HERE

Since adopting our cats from local shelters we have learned about the sad plight of the black kitty: they are statistically the most overlooked and un-adopted animal in shelters. Really? Yes.


The name "Hearts In the Dark" came from the first day I visited the shelter and walking by a cat carriers in the shelter, was stopped by one in particular. It held 3-4 adult black cats, their black fur all blurring into one liquid shape, quiet pairs eyes staring back at me, almost peacefully resigned to an understanding they would be overlooked again. 3-4 patient hearts waiting in the dark, while the spotted or striped kittens were picked and carted home...

Hearts In the Dark: III

Many factors play into this: photographs don't capture black cats very well (for online viewing), people are superstitious, folks just come to the shelter hoping for stripes and spots! I was told by shelter staff when I scooped up a purring Seri for the first time, that he "knew he would have to work twice as hard to be noticed and chosen!" Sure enough, when I returned two weeks later, his striped and spotted sisters and brother had left him last of the litter, despite his earnest little cuddles. It broke my heart and home with us he went. I have never met a MORE loving, as Emily says, "absurdly affectionate" cat.

Hearts In the Dark: I

Maybe what makes the black cat issue most tragic is the super-loving black cat temperament. Emily and I (having owned all kinds of cats) have often shared our suspicions that black cats have special magic...something spiritual, innate and inordinate affection, an empathy we can't explain but feel lucky to have in our lives. Other black cat owners discuss this too. It's like a black cat owner's secret! We want to spread the word and encourage adoption!

Hearts In the Dark: II

My series is comprised of black cat studies in pan pastels, scanned and printed on my ultra-archival museum grade paper. Our proceeds go to the great Boston area shelters: Black Cat Rescue of Boston and Pets In Need (Seri's first home as "Ace"!) They make gorgeous gift sets or stand alone prints. Each print fits nicely in a standard 5x7 frame. To help spread the word, you can "like" our little page here, where you can share your black cat stories and pictures too! :

Many thanks!


14 comments:

kelmurphy said...

What an awesome cause, and I LOVE your brush work! I also have been a black cat owner several time, all from the shelter. I am certainly reposting this!

Susannah Woodbury said...

I agree that black cats are "absurdly affectionate"! I once had a black cat named Oreo that would cuddle up right next to your side and rest his little head on your shoulder while you were sleeping. It was undyingly adorable. Must adopt more black cats!

www.juliadenos.com said...

Thanks so much Kelly, appreciate it!

Susannah, that is ridiculously sweet. Yes, they are the hidden gems of the cat world. I love the name Oreo too.

Sara said...

These are so beautiful! My family volunteered w/ the shelter and rescue groups for a while and it is so gut-wrenching sad to see the black cats and dogs looked over! I have always heard that black cats are the sweetest... The only cat that my mama has ever had was a black cat named Frank who hopped in her car and would not leave! One day maybe I'll have a Frank of my own. :)

Amy said...

Love the way you've captured the black cat in just a few masterly strokes! I tend to end up with the rescue animals that I don't think anyone else will take, and I just realized that 2 of my 3 cats have been all black, including my current kitty...hmm. Obviously I think this is a great initiative! I had heard that plain black dogs were adopted less frequently, but I never considered it with cat adoption.

Mai Kemble said...

I've heard this before, too, that black cats are often times overlooked... my mom has a black minx and he was at first very shy- but once out of his shell, he is the sweetest! he pushes his forehead on your forehead and purrs, "talks" when he wants water from the faucet... love them!

Brook Gideon said...

This is too true! What a great idea and what cute cards. Owner of two black cats and two non-black cats! Both black cats were adopted from shelter or the animal hospital where I worked. You should know this is also a true of large black dogs...no one wants to adopt them. So please keep that in mind when looking for a new doggy.

Marcela said...

Beautiful! I owned a black cat as a child and have been in love with them ever since. I think there is something so fancy about them.

Brenna Hawley said...

I am so SO happy you are selling these!! I am off to your shop right now to decorate my home with black kitties :)

Maggie said...

Thank you for this post! So glad you threw light on this sad topic. Makes me want to go out and adopt another black cat, but alas I already have one and he is rather old and rather likes being an only cat. He is very sweet and likes to be near us. My little shadow.

threadsquare said...

Both sets of illustrations are gorgeous and velvety. I had a black kitty as a child. He had a tiny patch of white on his neck and extra pads on his paws, the cutest (and wildest) cat I ever had. If my black & white pup could handle it, I'd get another in a heartbeat!

Jackie said...

I heartily attest to black cat love-they are the best. We have a black cat (from the Seekonk Animal shelter) who came to us as a "runt." "He'll never get very big I'm afraid," said the keeper. Now 25 pounds of sleek, pouncing courage, I sometimes refer to him as a panther...really, he looks like one as he slinks through the yard. My kids named him Tian Tian (sounds like tan-tan) which "sweet like candy" in mandarin.

Kate said...

You and Seri were meant to be-- I can't imagine a better home for the little Pharaoh. I'm grateful to know him in all his feline grace!

He must be very proud of you :-)

Lolly Squirrel said...

Thanks for championing the cause of our black feline friends! I live with 3, & wouldn't have it any other way! Plus, growing up with a calico, its now nice to have one non-offensive color fur in our home =^..^=