Black Cats And Celtic Mythology
Unfortunately, the black cats were not worshiped forever. In Celtic mythology, there was legend of a creature called the Cat Sith.The Cat Sith was said to resemble a large black cat with a white spot on its chest. The thought was that this creature would steal a personâs soul before the gods. They would do so by âpassingâ over the corpse before burial. Hence when the thought of black feline friends being bad luck began.
Their bad luck theory continued into the Middle Ages where the Halloween theory catches on. In Europe, black cats were often tied together with witches. There was a story about a boy and his father seeing a black cat on the streets. The threw rocks at the cat until the cat fled into a house of a women.
The woman was accused of being a witch and was said to turn into a cat at night to roam around freely. I cannot even believe for a second that this is where the myth of black cats came from. Basically, because two people saw a black cat and were cruel to it, they became bad luck. Can you image what differences the world would be had it have been a ginger cat? Or a grey cat?
Are Black Cats Bad Luck
With Halloween right around the corner, I am sure I am not the only one who has seen their fair share of black cats at stores.
When you think of Halloween, you think or witches, black cats and scary items. This was something that I never understood though. I understand the scary items like ghosts, goblins, and witches during the Halloween time. But black cats always seemed to escape me.
Why are these supposed to be considered scary? More importantly, why are black cats considered back luck? Especially during Halloween.
Well I wanted to take a deep dive into this question today. I am going to talk about how this theory was started and then go over the truth behind black cats.
So if you are curious if black kitties are ACTUALLY bad luck, or where the idea came from, buckle up.
Where Did The Tradition Of Cats Being Bad Luck Or Good Luck Come From
Some people believe that if a cat walks towards you it will bring good misfortune while if a cat away towards you it will bring misfortune. Such superstitions pass on from one generation to the next generation. Even many educated people still believe in these superstitions. There is a very famous weird superstition about black cat is that a black cat could eventually become a witch himself after serving as a witchs familiar for seven years
In ancient Egypt, cats were worshipped due to being linked to the goddess Bastet, who was said to bring protection to the home. Bastet, also called Bast, ancient Egyptian goddess worshipped in the form of a lioness and later a cat. In Western culture, a witchs familiar is often depicted as a black cat.
However, in many other areas of Europe, black cats are considered to be a symbol of bad luck, especially in the event of one walking across the path in front of you, which is said to be an omen of death. Ships will sink if a black cat wanders on to a ship and then off again. Even today many people think black cats bring bad luck e.g during Halloween they are portrayed on decorative items accompanied by witches.
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What Breed Is A Black Cat
Black cats can be either mixed or a specific breed they arent one single breed. In fact, the Cat Fanciers Association recognizes 22 cat breeds that can have solid black coats, including long-haired cats such as the Persian and the Ragamuffin as well as the hairless Sphynx. Pretty cool! However, when most people picture a black cat, they are most likely thinking of the Bombay, a lustrous, ebony shorthairand the only breed that is only black. In the 1950s a woman named Nikki Horner bred the Bombay specifically to look like its distant cousin, the black panther.
History Of Black Cats As Bad Luck Or Good Luck
There are two different views about black cats, some perceive them as the reason for good luck whereas others perceive them as bad luck. But, the majority believe them as bad luck for them. This is one of the reasons thats why black cats got fame. In the majority of countries, the black cat has a bad repute because of their color thats why many people dislike them all over the world and consider bad luck for them.
In developed countries like the United States, black cats have some of the lowest adoption rates and highest euthanasia rates in shelters. If you ask why this is happening because nowadays everyone uses social media to highlight or publicize their pets. And adopters often take photos of their adoptable cats and share them on social sites.
People usually search on social sites to buy new cats. But unfortunately, black cats are more difficult to photograph than lighter-coated cats thats why it is difficult to attract adopters to adopt black cats. It is also reported that potential adopters perceive black cats as less friendly and less cooperative than lighter-coated pets solely based on a photograph. Thats why people also ignoring them on a large scale.
Black cat during a football match in ground
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Black Cat Superstitions Today
In North America, the black cat superstition is a bit vague. For the most part, the superstition holds that it is bad luck for a black cat to cross in front of you. But other countries have some different ideas.
For example, in Germany, they believe that if a black cat crosses your path from right to left, it is bad luck, but that if it crosses from left to right, youre in for some good news. In much of England, a cat crossing has now come full circle and is simply considered good luck, and in some areas, cats are given to brides as lucky gifts. In Japan, they do something similar, giving black cats to single women to help them attract more suitors. And in Russia, apparently, all cats are considered lucky.
Cats And Witches Seen As Threats To Early Christian Church
A Halloween postcard from the early 1900s featuring a witch, a black cat and spirits.
In addition to their early association with Satan, cats also became inextricably linked to witches in medieval Europe. According to Cerridwen Fallingstar, Wiccan priestess and author of Broth from the Cauldron: A Wisdom Journey through Everyday Magic, witches were the pre-Christian pagan practitioners of Europe.
Although the early Christian church in Europe coexisted with witches, as the church gained power, she says that they saw witches as their direct competition in gaining the hearts and minds of the people. Thats when the church began hunting, persecuting, torturing and killing witches in vast numbers, she explains.
Witches honored the natural world, having deep respect for plants and animals, says Fallingstar. Affection between human and animal therefore began to be seen as ‘diabolical’, or devilish, and the old lady with her cats became seen as suspect.
But it wasnt only the connection they fabricated between witches, cats, and the devil that the early Christians feared: they also saw them both as threats. Cats, like the women accused of witchcraft, tend to exhibit a healthy disrespect of authority, she notes. They don’t fawn, like dogs, upon even the unworthy. In the church, neither independent women, nor independent animals, were to be tolerated.
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Cats In Ancient Egypt
On the other hand, it hasnt been very long since black cats fell out of favor with people, considering the rich history of companionship between the felines and humans. As far back as 3000 BC, in the heyday of the Egyptian civilization, all cats, including the one with black fur, were regarded with high esteem. Rather than being just mere pets, the cat was respected and even worshipped by the people. The felines connection to religion stems from the depiction of Egyptian gods that shows them owning cats or having physical features similar to those found in cats. During that period, it was considered an unjustifiable crime to kill cats, and those who do this heinous act are punished severely.
Cats were revered so much in Ancient Egypt that many of them received the coveted honor of mummification after their death like the humans, although a few historians argue that cats were often killed and buried beside their Egyptian pharaoh owners, even if these felines are healthy. It is also speculated that most cats in Ancient Egypt were buried in their own tomb, as evidenced by an excavation done in 1888, wherein they found a tomb that housed thousands of mummified cats.
Black Cats And Witches
Cats have a long history with humans and, up until the Middle Ages in Europe, this relationship remained mostly positive.
This all changed with the hysteria surrounding witches. Often, cats were cared for by single women who were then accused of witchcraft. These cats, being stray, were often black cats. People believed that these felines were witches that had been reincarnated or, indeed, were helping witches with their evil deeds.
Unfortunately, this sometimes meant that black cats suffered the same fate as their owners who were accused of witchery, which often led to mass killings of these beautiful creatures.
Another theory is that, because of the cats black fur, they were seen as a sign of death and bad luck – much like the way people viewed black birds, such as ravens.
To this day, the superstition surrounding black cats remains.
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Why Are Black Cats Considered Bad Luck The History Behind The Myths
When we think of Halloween, we tend to think of things that are scary. Witches, ghosts, ghouls, and black cats. But why exactly do we associate these dark felines with this spooky season? Is it because they blend into the shadows? Are they sneakier than their colored counterparts? And why do so many people view them as bad omens? Keep reading to learn the history behind black cats being considered bad luck and what the impact has been on black cats in the 21st century.
Is Fear In Our DNA? Myths and Superstitions
Before cats were domesticated, huge meat-eating creatures like saber-toothed cats and the American lion roamed the earth. In order to avoid being eaten, our fight-or-flight responses were activated. We experienced faster heartbeats, increased blood flow to our muscles, and hyperventilation. Its understandable why our ancestors were so scared they didnt want to be some cats lunch! While our fear previously kept us away from cats, 4,000 years ago we formed a mutually beneficial relationship where they became vermin catchers for humans. Now theyve become common house pets, and many people consider them honorary family members. So, why then are so many people fearful and suspicious of black cats specifically?
Black Cats In Other Cultures
Where Are Black Cats Now?
-Black Cat Myths and Facts Debunked . Four Paws, www.fourpaws.com/pets-101/home-yard-beyond/black-cat-myths-and-facts.
Witchcraft And The Medieval Era
Medieval Europe was fertile ground for negative folklore about black cats. In 1233, Pope Gregory IX declared that black cats are an incarnation of the devil . Christians across the continent took the message to heart, rounding up black cats and burning them alive at village festivals as punishment . Western Christianity continued to view cats as emissaries of Satan for hundreds of years. So many black cats were killed during the Medieval era that domestic cats were nearly extinct in parts of Europe by the 1300s . Its thought that the loss of so many cats may actually have contributed to the spread of bubonic plague . No cats means lots and lots of rats. Tragically, the people of Medieval Europe had no idea what good luck the cats were to have around.
Over time, it wasnt as common to believe that black cats were literally the devil, but rather that they did the work of the devil through witchcraft. One version of the superstition held that black cats were more likely to be the familiars of witches . A familiar is an animal which aids in the performance of magic or carries out magical tasks. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that cats, especially those with black pelts, helped witches to carry out evil spells, spy on their victims, and communicate with the devil . Some people even thought that black cats could become a witch themselves if they served as a witchs familiar for seven years .
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In Ancient Egypt Black Cats Were Worshipped As Goddesses
In Ancient Egypt black cats were representations of goddess Bastet. Bastet was the protector of women and households, goddess of womens secrets, fertility, childbirth, and cats. She was popular among both men and women since every man had a daughter, wife, or mother who benefitted from the protection of Bastet.
Cats were respected in Egypt also because they kept homes and grain granaries free of mice and rats and provided their owners with almost a maintenance-free company.
Egyptian civilization was built on grain. Cats dont eat grain, but they eat meat which they get by hunting rodents such as mice and rats. Therefore by keeping granaries free of rodents cats supported Egyptian civilization.
In Ancient Egypt black cats were known for keeping evil spirits away.A person caught killing a cat could face the death penalty.
Bastet was portrayed as a nurturing mother and a terrifying avenger. In the Book of the Dead, it is written that slaughterers of Bastet will inflict plague and other disasters on humanity.
A Truth which people of Medival Europe would learn a hard way thousands of years later.
Egyptians refused to fight for fear of hurting the animals and offending Basted and surrendered instead.
Bastet remained one of the most popular goddesses throughout the history of Egypt long into the Roman era until finally being eclipsed by Christianity.
Invite A Black Cat Into Your Life
Now you know the answer to why are black cats lucky you may decide to invite one into your life! All cats are adorable and give so much love and companionship.
However, black cats have a sleek beauty that has a way of finding a way into your heart. You may recognise some very famous black cats that have appeared in films and tv programs. For example, Salem in the comedy Sabrina the teenage witch, Felix, and Cole in Cole and Marmalade.
Whether you decide to adopt a black cat or any other type, remember, its a lifelong commitment. You can expect an average cat to live anywhere from 13 years to late teens or twenties.
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Wishing you a purrfect day:)
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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.
Origins Of Black Cat Crossing Your Path Superstition
Black cat crossing a mans path.
Given the belief in medieval Europe that the devil and witches were capable of taking the form of black cats, it makes sense that the superstition surrounding crossing their paths developed, says Phoebe Millerwhite, a folklorist and artist. Therefore, a black cat crossing your path might very well be on a mission from a witch, she notes. Just as easily, it could be the devil in disguiseand no one wants to cross paths with the devil. This explains why a black cat crossing your path is considered a bad omen.
This notion continued into the Renaissance, says Fallingstar, when a black cat crossing your path might have indicated that a witch had sent her familiar to do you harm. Many fearful peasants of the day might have hurried to the nearest church and paid for a priest to bless them and rid them of any curse that might have been laid by the cat, she says. As this was a source of income for the church, such fears would have likely been encouraged.
But the idea that black cats are bad luck isnt universal, according to Compora. In fact, some cultures believe that black cats bring good luck.
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Black Cat Superstition Halloween And Why They Bring Bad Luck
Black Cat superstition can be considered to be one of the oldest superstitions. We consider that it is bad luck if a black cat crosses our path. These black cat superstitions have brought about modern Halloween symbols and have given these felines the tag of being spooky.
Read on to find out where and how this association was made between black cats and bad luck.
The Origin Of Black Cat Superstitions
The relationship between cats and humans dates back to the earliest civilizations. It was in Egypt where cats were hailed as divine symbols. Cats had a role in Greek mythology too, as it was a pet to the Goddess Hecate of magic and sorcery. It was at this point that black cat superstitions became more popular.
Black cat superstitions were found in written records dating back to the 13th century. A church document called Vox In Rama was issued by the Pope. It was mentioned in the document that black cats were declared as an incarnation of Satan.
This decree started the church-sanctioned witch hunts. It was designed to destroy the growing Luciferians in Germany but had quickly spread all over Europe.
Early Christian Church Threatened By Cats And Witches
Medieval Europe saw Cats being linked to Witches as opposed to Satan.
The early Christian Church coexisted with the era of witches and it saw that the witches were their direct competition to winning the minds and hearts of the people. This is when the church began to hunt, torture, and kill witches in large numbers.