Though they can be cute and cuddly and warm and wonderful, black cats are often considered second class citizens of the feline family. Especially around Halloween.When the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock, they brought with them their superstitions, including their belief that black cats were familiars of — i.e., companions to — witches. Legend says that if a black cat crosses your path, it’s bad luck.According to the Boston-based Black Cat Rescue organization ( http://blackcatrescue.com/), the coal-colored kitties are “only half as likely to get adopted as cats of other colors.” This statistic changes at many rescue shelters in October, when people are looking for Halloween props and decorations. Sadly, the cats often get returned (or worse), leading some shelters to disallow the adoption of black cats during the month.To give black cats a little Halloween love, we’ve compiled a quiz to see how much you know about the furry felines in pop culture. Answer these questions and see if you got a purrrr-fect score at the end. 1. In the old “Felix the Cat” cartoons, the comical cat’s arch nemesis, The Professor, is always trying to steal his seemingly bottomless magic bag of tricks. What is the name of The Professor’s dog-faced sidekick?a) Rockyb) Kryptoc) Rock Bottomd) Spike 2. Black Cat is a hit single off Janet Jackson’s fourth studio LP. What is the name of that album?a) Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814b) Thrillerc) Janet Jacksond) The Velvet Rope 3. The Black Cat, the classic short story from 1843, was written, of course, by Edgar Allan Poe, one of the foremost masters of the macabre. What is the titular cat’s name?a) Goofyb) Mickeyc) Donaldd) Pluto 4. What Academy Award-winning actress played the title character in the critically panned Catwoman film from 2004?a) Michelle Pfeifferb) Beyoncé Knowlesc) Scary Spiced) Halle Berry 5. What is the name of the black cat in Neil Gaiman’s award-winning Coraline novella (2002), which was adapted for film in 2009?a) Blackieb) The cat has no namec) Fluffyd) ChaCha 6. The adventures of the silver-haired Black Cat, who has had an on-again, off-again romantic relationship with Spider-Man, are published by what comic book company?a) Marvelb) DCc) Dark Horsed) Image 7. Universal’s The Black Cat, released in 1934, paired two of the biggest horror stars of the era: Boris Karloff and _______.a) Peter Lorreb) Bela Lugosic) Lon Chaneyd) Christopher Lee 8. The Black Cat fireworks company, which introduced its products to the U.S. during the 1940s, was founded in what country?a) Japanb) Russiac) Vietnamd) China 9. Drummer Peter Criss, the black-clad Catman formerly of KISS, was replaced in the band in 1980 by the late Eric Carr, who assumed the persona of a Fox. Who currently wears the Catman makeup in KISS?a) Eric Singerb) Neil Peartc) Ringo Starrd) Lars Ulrich 10. In the TV show Sabrina the Teenage Witch, which is based on the Archie comic-book series, Sabrina (Melissa Joan Hart) owns a greedy black cat that can talk, sing and read. What is his name?a) Salemb) Sparkyc) Sylvesterd) Penelope 11. The cartoon family the Simpsons are often shown watching The Itchy & Scratchy Show , a cartoon-within-a-cartoon that is essentially a more violent version of Tom and Jerry. What Spinal Tap member voiced Scratchy the black cat?a) Michael McKeanb) Christopher Guestc) Harry Shearerd) Gregg Bissonette 12. What is the name of the black cat in the long-running “Dorrie the Little Witch” series written by Patricia Combs?a) Inkb) Winkc) Ginkd) Stink Answers: 1. C. Rock Bottom. The bumbling, fumbling henchman smokes cigars, wears bowties and, most importantly, helps The Professor with his scurrilous schemes. 2. A. Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814. Released in 1989, the record had seven top-five Billboard hits, including Black Cat. 3. D. Pluto. The feline drove the narrator of The Black Cat mad in typical Poe fashion. 4. D. Halle Berry. Berry, who won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in 2002’s Monster’s Ball, also won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress for her performance in Catwoman. 5. B. The cat has no name. Since cats don’t need names to tell one another apart (or so the cat claims), Coraline’s feline guide is nameless. 6. A. Marvel. The tights-wearing temptress first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #194 (1979). 7. B. Bela Lugosi. The horror legend also appeared in the far inferior 1941 version of The Black Cat. 8. D. China. Fireworks were invented in China. 9. A. Eric Singer. Much to the chagrin of Peter Criss (as he’s lamented in several interviews), Singer wears the Catman makeup and even sings Beth in concert. 10. A. Salem. Sabrina’s cat was named after Salem, Mass., home of the infamous Salem witch trials of 1692. 11. C. Harry Shearer. Shearer played bassist Derek Smalls in This Is Spinal Tap (1984), a mockumentary lampooning the rock and roll lifestyle. 12. C. Gink. Gink tags along with Dorrie, whose “hat is always on crooked and her stockings never match.” How did you score?0-3 Points: Simply cat-astrophic. Has a black cat crossed your path recently?4-7 Points: You get a “C” for this cat quiz.8-11 Points: A bewitchingly good score — congrats, cool cat.12 Points: Purrrrrrrfect!
Thursday: Halloween-themed TV shows
Friday: Where to find favorite candies of yesteryear
Saturday: DIY party and home decorations
Sunday: Readers show us their inner villains
Monday: Last-minute, no-carve pumpkin creations
Today: How much do you know about black cats?
Wednesday: Tricked-out treats using leftover candy
Thursday: Our annual amazing Halloween maze
Show your black cat love!
Do you have a pet black cat that you adore? Post his or her picture on Instagram or tweet it to @StarTelegram using the hashtag #blackcatFW by Thursday, Oct. 31. We’ll put photos into a gallery, and two lucky readers will be chosen at random to win Halloween picture frames.