It’s time the lonely black cats got lucky

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Visit the Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted Cats Protection rehoming show this weekend to see why furry black felines are just magic.

According to tradition, black cats are regarded as lucky in this country. But it doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to rehoming – people still go for ‘pretty’ colours first and black cats are literally left on the shelf.

Abi (top) with her furry chum Beau

Abi (top) with her furry chum Beau

Julia Derrick, who has been fostering them for 10 years for Cats Protection, said: “We’re inundated with black cats, which is such a shame. Everyone wants the silver tabbies and the gingers – we can’t get rid of gingers quick enough! Black cats are so beautiful.”

Would-be owners can see for themselves on Sunday, when the Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted branch of Cats Protection hosts a homing show in a bid to find their incumbents a loving home.

Headlining the event are ying and yang duo Dexter and Beau. Dexter is a six-year-old champion mouser, taken in by the branch after his previous owners had a baby.

Fosterer Deborah Smith said: “He’s the most playful cat I’ve ever met. He adores playing with absolutely anything, especially shadows. We have a wooden floor and he’s always skidding from one end to the other.”

Dexter is very playful and would suit a family with older children

Dexter is very playful and would suit a family with older children

Deborah said: “He would need an experienced cat owner, who’s prepared to give him lots of love and care.

“He’s great fun – such a character – and very verbal. You can have a conversation with him!”

Black puss Beau is just as dark and handsome as Dexter, but much more timid.

The six-year-old moggy was found straying and has been under Cats Protection care for six months.

Julia said: “Beau is always going to be a shy boy, but he needs someone who is going to let him come to them in his own time.

“He’s moved on such a lot since he first came to me, but his new owner would have to be prepared to be patient with him. He might just hide under the bed for a month.”

Beau is now lonelier than ever after his younger pal Abi was rehomed at the weekend.

The pair shared the same pen in Julia’s garden and Abi’s lust for life coaxed Beau out of his shell, teaching him how to be a kitten again.

Despite their sweet natures, Beau and Dexter are what’s known as ‘long stay’ candidates at the branch, and have been overlooked time and time again.

But if you’ve taken a shine to them, then pay a visit to Pilgrim Cottage Cattery, Megg Lane, Chipperfield, between 11am and 4pm.

Julia, of Bennetts End, said: “It’s always a joyous occasion for me, when our cats go to a new home. I’m full of joy for the people who are taking them, and full of joy for the cats because they’ve found their forever homes.

“When people come in and meet the cats for the first time, you know straightaway if you have a perfect match. It’s magic.”

If Beau and Dexter have put a spell on you, get in touch with Ali at the Cats Protection on 01442 251536 to register your interest.

You can visit www.dacorum.cats.org.uk to see other cats who are looking for a second chance.