“Uh-oh! A black cat just passed by!”
“Quick! Pull out a pair of rabbit’s feet!”
Kitties are uniquely adorable. They’re completely devious looking, but totally not in many ways. They’re the perfect pet for owners who do not want to be clung-on frequently.
Superstition says that the black ones ought to bring bad luck. What’s up with that?
In ancient times, they were once gods.
Ten thousand years ago, cats (Mau) were considered sacred in the ancient Egyptian society. Bast (also known as Bastet) their cat goddess represented protection, fertility, and motherhood. A lot of Egyptians worshipped cats in, especially Bast. This veneration came to a point of worship. The practice of mummification which was only done to preserve human bodies extended to felines. Back in the days, these kitties were treated above the likes of men that killing them was considered a mortal crime.
What happened then?
It wasn’t until the resurgence of the European-based Witchcraft (Wicca) that turned the images of these kitties from being praised to wanting to be erased.
A popular lore that changed the course of history for our kitty cats.
The story began in Lincolnshire back in 1560’s. It was said that on a dark and moonless night, a father and son came across an unidentifiable creature darting along their path. Scared, they threw stones out in the open. Out of the dark, an injured black cat scurried and limped towards the adjacent home of a woman suspected to be a witch. The next day, the father and son encountered the woman on the street. Her arms were wrapped around with bandages and her face was bruised. She was now walking with a limp. And, ever since that day, black cats in Lincolnshire were suspected to be witches in disguise.
The lore spread across the globe. As the witch scare mounted to paranoia, a lot of women and house pets were burned alive, especially black cats.
During the Salem Witch Trials, black cats were considered familiars of witches. They were believed to walk the streets unseen from the townsfolk taking in the form of their familiars. This hypothesis ignited the people’s dread and disgusted perceptions towards our black kitties.
Since then, every time people encounter a black cat, an inter-cultural whiplash about cats as harbingers of doom or the bringer of unfortunate events are the second if not the first thing that comes into people’s minds. For feline haters, a fusion of timeless historical horrors condemns the color of these poor little kitties.
But we wouldn’t want to end our topic today with a bad image for our beautiful black kitties, no. In some parts of the world, stories of their wonders still warm the hearts of our fellow ailurophiles.
In some parts of England, black cats ought to bless marriages. Having black kitties at home will bring marriages the best of luck and the longest and happiest of life together. They’re also believed to be lucky charms for sailors to return from their voyage to their homes safe – why black cats in ye olde times were expensive.
In France, they believe that black cats called “matagots” or “magician cats” will reward them with fortune and wealth if they treat them with respect. Also, when you are in a crossroad, a black cat is believed to lead you where the treasure is.
Freya, the Norse god of beauty, love, and fertility, rides a chariot pulled by two black cats. According to Norse mythology, farmers would have to win the favor of these two black cats for Freya to bless them with a good harvest. That is through this notion, having a black cat in the house is said to keep your lives happy and safe.
In the end, different cultures have different stories and myths to tell. So, the next time you see a black cat, instead of pulling a pair of rabbits, gather up your wits and think this:
Whatever their color is, cats will always be cats. They will always chase mice and lasers, jump in the presence of cucumbers and be lazy most of the time. The best we do is love them; love them with all we got, because in turn, they will bring us the joy and love no other animal or luck can.