What is black cat energy?
Are You More Of A Black Cat Or Golden Retriever? TikTok Might Have The Answer
The theory explains why you click with certain people.
April 19, 2023
If you have a likable, friendly personality, you might end up with someone a lot more chill and reserved than you are. Or, if you like to keep to yourself, don’t be surprised if you find a much more social and outgoing counterpart. It’s the typical “opposites attract” mantra, but TikTok calls this the black cat and golden Retriever theory, where one partner has the enigmatic vibes of a cat, and the other has the off-the-wall energy of the beloved dog breed.
Prepare to never look at your relationship the same, because the black cat and golden retriever theory circulating on TikTok seems so accurate. The trend typically illustrates what it’s like for two partners with contrasting personalities or aesthetics to be in a couple, and the end result is seriously adorable (and hilarious). Whether or not it was the inspiration behind the trend, the relationship trope has been played out countless times in media, from Jackie and Kelso in That 70’s Show to Andy Dwyer and April Ludgate in Parks & Recreation. It’s like opposites attract times 100.
This TikTok from @hwaniiee basically sums up everything you need to know about a black cat and Golden Retriever duo: one person always tries to make their partner smile, while the other one barely cracks a smirk — but deep down they secretly love it.
It’s unclear who started the trend, but it has definitely reached its target audience because if you search “black cat golden retriever” in the TikTok search bar, you’ll see dozens of vids depicting what the contrasting yet compatible relationship dynamic looks like.
It’s always heartwarming to see someone with black cat vibes put up with the antics of their golden partner, even if they can’t match their energy. This video from @smileyjordynrylee describes how draining it can be for a black cat to be around their energetic other half, but they always seem to give their puppy-like partner a pass.
There are so many viral sounds on the app that perfectly explain the dynamic between the duo, like the sound used in creator @iwantcandy77’s video of her and her golden retriever boyfriend.
Besties with opposite personalities have also joined in on the trend, like this video from @ariellanyssa that begs the question: who’s the black cat and who’s the golden retriever?
User @marlynzaragoza and her BFF also give off major black cat and golden retriever energy and used a sound from The Office to explain what their friendship is like.
TikTokers have even used the theory to ship some of the most famous polar opposite characters from their favorite TV shows, just like @awaep_ did in this fancam of Wednesday and Enid from Wednesday.
You don’t have to be in a cat-retriever couple to appreciate how sweet the dynamic between a highly spirited and a quietly mysterious twosome can be. The contradicting pairings are all around us, from mix-match besties and our favorite TV characters, to, well, actual black cats and golden retrievers.
TikTok’s Black Cat-Golden Retriever Energy Trend Takes The Opposites Attract Adage Up A Notch
One of the most highly talked-about relationship-related debates is whether or not opposites really do attract. While some believe opposites don’t always attract, some of the most exciting, successful, and unique relationships and friendships consist of people with different personality traits and interests. «If you’re someone who’s always been a bit reserved, dating someone who’s more outgoing could help you come out of your shell and explore new experiences. Similarly, if you’ve always been very analytical and logical, dating someone who’s more creative and intuitive could help you tap into your emotional side,» Amira Martin, LCSW, a therapist and adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of Social Work, told MindBodyGreen Relationships.
While the bubbly and icy duo is nothing new, TikTok puts these pairings in the spotlight by comparing them to golden retrievers and black cats. As random as this TikTok trend sounds, it’s as relatable as it is cute. After all, can you think of anything more charming than a cheerful golden retriever hanging out with a mysterious black cat?
The black cat and golden retriever analogy is all over TikTok
In an opposites-attract couple or friendship, the black cat is the quiet, standoffish individual, while the golden retriever is the upbeat, friendly person. If you want to figure out whether you’re more of a black cat or golden retriever, you can even take a BuzzFeed quiz to know for sure. You can find countless examples of the black cat and golden retriever duos on TikTok, such as a video by TikToker @maybebaylee that described the relationship of a perky boyfriend — the golden retriever — and a no-nonsense girlfriend — the black cat — as «one of the best romantic dynamics.» Many amused viewers commented, tagging the golden retriever to their black cat — or vice versa — and one person even wrote, «This is exactly how I wish my future relationship to turn out.»
While black cat and golden retriever couples are adorable, the dynamic isn’t limited to romantic relationships, as a black cat and golden retriever friendship can be just as fun. For example, TikTok user @katiehogsett posted a video in a park featuring one girl in a dark outfit in the shade and another in a light ensemble under the sunlight and captioned the video, «Spotted a black cat and golden retriever pre-friendship in the wild.» The video has over 540,000 likes at the time of writing, with comments including, «This is so cute» and «It really does look like a movie scene.»
Many famous duos fit this metaphor
When you think about the black cat and golden retriever idea, you’ll recognize that many iconic celebrities and fictional couples fall under the category. For instance, look at Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly. While the duo seems to have intense ups and downs, there’s no denying that the two give off the black cat and golden retriever energy when they’re together. While Kelly often appears smiley, affectionate, and talkative, Fox typically gives off more of an icy persona (via TikTok). There’s no guessing what’s next for that controversial golden retriever and black cat, but we know that everyone will be talking about it on social media!
Some beloved fictional couples give off that energy, too, such as the intense Santana and the ditzy Brittany from «Glee,» as Brittany’s softer presence beautifully balanced Santana’s darker and meaner vibe, per TikTok. Furthermore, one fictional friendship that hilariously matches the trend is the dynamic between Cat and Jade on «Victorious,» as Cat’s ditzy, innocent personality and Jade’s intense, unfriendly persona (via TikTok) made for an amusing and iconic fictional friendship.
What is black cat energy?
Happy Black Cat Day and almost Halloween! Are black cats good luck? In Asia and Europe, black cats bring wealth, bless marriages, keep homes safe and more.
A friend in Hawai’i during dinner a few years ago mentioned that a black cat had crossed his path the previous day while he was en route to some big, math-related test for his big, math-related master’s degree. When he specified that it was a black community cat (the University of Hawai’i has a big community cat population), our group gave up three simultaneous reactions to black cats.
“Aww!” I said, because I’m me. And because I enjoyed the company of the University of Hawai’i community cats more than most students.
“Uh-oh!” my born-and-raised American friend said
“Oh!” said my Japanese friend — with a smile.
Most understood my American friend’s reaction — “Did you feel jinxed for your test?” some people asked — but I preferred my Japanese friend’s response: “But that’s good!”
Black cats and luck — an overview
Unlike much of the western world, Japanese culture sees a black cat crossing your path as a good omen. In fact, black cats are generally seen as good luck in Japan and much of Asia. My Chinese mother, the Feng Shui master, specifically put her black cat’s bed on the north side of her home to ward off evil.
“Tiptoe is a very lucky cat,” she said. “Good luck follows her.”
I think Tiptoe just likes that her bed is nearest the coveted space heater in the winter.
Halloween is near (plus — October 27 is Black Cat Day and October is Black Cat Awareness Month), and although black cats are associated with the day, black cats still get a bad rap. Some people adopt black cats only to use them as props for Halloween costumes, and some shelters don’t adopt black cats for all of October. Abuse of black cats, sadly, is one of the real horrors of Halloween.
So are black cats good luck? Let’s look at these good black cat luck superstitions around the world:
1. Black cats bless marriages
A black cat with green eyes.
Black cats are known to bless marriages. Photography by ueuaphoto / Shutterstock.
English superstition says that giving a bride a black cat on her wedding day will bring her good luck in her marriage. It’s also thought that newlyweds with a black cat in their home will have a long, happy life together, and the black cat will ward off evil spirits. In much of the UK, the black of a cat is a lucky color.
While I don’t necessarily condone giving cats as gifts, newlyweds or spouses-to-be should rejoice in sharing their home with a black kitty.
If you’re a woman still looking for that special someone, Japanese superstition says a black cat will bring a single woman many good suitors.
2. Black cats draw wealth and prosperity
You might have seen the “Fortune Cats” or Maneki Neko that populate Japanese culture. Those little cat figurines with the raised paws are meant to draw good luck, wealth and prosperity to their owners. Often they are white, but Lucky Cats also come in black.
A black Lucky Cat not only brings luck but also frightens away demons, evil energy, and stalkers. (Yes, stalkers.)
3. Black cats make safe homes and good harvests
Also, as my Feng Shui-inclined mom says, black cats possesses strong powers of good. If you keep your black cats happy and safe, they will keep you happy and safe. If you don’t have a black cat in real life to guard your home, a black cat figurine facing north will keep bad energy and spirits away.
And while we’re on the subject of gods and demons, in Norse mythology the goddess of love, fertility and beauty, Freya, rides on a chariot pulled by two black cats. To win favor with Freya, farmers would leave bowls of milk for her companions in their fields. Freya would then bless them with a good harvest.
4. Black cats in the audience help a play
Cats are excellent audience members. Just ask my cat Brandy when I am moved to dance when my playlist cycles through to “Build Me Up Buttercup.” To theater folks in many cultures, there is no better audience member than a black cat. If a black cat finds its way into your audience on opening night, your play will have a long and prosperous run.
5. Black cats lead to treasure
It’s also been long believed that black cats invite not only fortune in the way of good luck, but also in the way of wealth. French peasants long believed that if a black cat was released at a crossroads where five roads intersect, the black cat would lead them to treasure.
6. Respecting a black cat brings fortune
And in the south of France, black cats have been called “matagot” and are known as “magician cats” or even “money cats.” If shown the proper respect — like being given the first bite of dinner, having a nice bed to sleep in or having a home even after their owner’s death — the matagot will reward their person with wealth and good luck. (This belief does have some ties to black cats and negative connotations of witchcraft, but I choose to look at it as those who do not treat their cats well get their comeuppance.)
7. Black cats give sailors safe travels
English sailors could probably have used a matagot in their home to bring them some extra wealth. In ye olde times, black cats were thought to be so lucky and such and assurance that sailors would return safely home from sea that many black cats cost so much as to be unaffordable for seafarers.
Black cat or not, I’m sure most of our feline family members would agree that having the first bite of our dinners is well within their rights.