In Maine, cats are known to breed large and feisty — Rockland cats are especially rugged and resourceful, maybe it was is the heritage of a waterfront town with abundant fish — and Coon cats, with their long fur and distinct paws, are one of the state’s trademarks.

And then, there is the black cat, who hold a spot dear to this particular page. The Black Cat, the name of this long-running column, was founded in honor of such felines in the early decades of he 20th Century, penned by the Frank Winslow, who was editor of The Courier-Gazette and who died in 1952.

The column likewise deceased, but was then revived in 1968, yet again in honor of black cats; this time a little black kitten found on Route 73 in Spruce Head by editor and publisher Sidney L. Cullen became the image affixed to the head of the column for years. The kitten was named Dingbat, a typographical symbol used in publishing. Periodically, readers would send in photos of their own black cats.

Recently, the Black Cat put out a call for photos of today’s finest black cats living in the Midcoast, and was not disappointed. Here they are, in all their feline splendor.

The relationship between humans and cats extends back millenniums, when Egyptians worshiped them, and killing cats was considered a capital crime. When an Egyptian family’s cat died, the cat was mummified and the family went into mourning. Romans, also, considered the cat sacred and introduced it into Europe. Cats did not fare so well there, but survived, and today, in Britain and Japan, having a black cat cross one’s path is considered good luck.

It is also good in general to share a home with a black cat, or even touching one, and meeting three black cats in succession. On the other hand, woe be to the human who scares or drives away a black cat from one’s property, have a black cat turn its back on one, or even walking under a ladder after a black cat has walked underneath it. Not sure how to monitor that situation — install a Web cam on the ladder?

But really, it is good luck just to love all cats, take care of them and feed them well.

What follows are photos of favorite black cats submitted by their loving humans.