As "Black Panther" continues its meteoric rise at the box office, racking up hundreds of millions of dollars and becoming a cultural sensation, it's also given a boost to pet shelters, too: Social media users are reporting that the flick has inspired them to adopt black cats.
The sweet phenomenon has been blowing up Twitter and Tumblr, with one member of the latter site revealing that several local shelters near her Durango, Colorado home had seen about 60 black cats adopted out in recent weeks. According to user gallusrostromegalus, the names T'Challa (after Chadwick Boseman's titular superhero), Okoye (after Danai Gurira's badass leader of the king's guard, the Dora Milaje), and Shuri (after Letita Wright's fan-favorite Wakandan princess) have proven the most popular among those who've filled out adoption paperwork, though one particular tribute to Michael B. Jordan's villain had "one very confused Elderly Humane Society Volunteer wondering why someone would name such a sweet cat 'Killmonger'."
Of course, the new trend does have its detractors, with both Tumblr and Twitter users pointing out that well-meaning but inexperienced pet owners may bail on their new kitties once they realize how big of a responsibility it is to raise their own furballs. That's exactly what happened with "Game of Thrones" fans, who went through a craze of buying their very own direwolves -- a.k.a. huskies -- then dropping them off at shelters when caring for the pups got too overwhelming.
According to gallusrostromegalus, though, her local shelters have a fairly strict adoption policies, making it less likely that people who'd easily give up a pet would even make it through the application process. And in the specific case of those new Colorado cat owners, gallusrostromegalus says they were already committed to adopting a cat, anyway, but "then see the black kitties and go 'LIKE BLACK PANTHER' and take them home."
Sounds like the purrfect Hollywood ending for everyone involved.