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Black Cats: The Myths

Black Cats: The Myths 

As a lover of all cats, I’ve never held any weight on the superstitions regarding black cats. That being said I am curious as to where they originated, let’s break them down

Black Cats are witches:

When we think of witches or witchcraft we automatically think of black cats as well. The connection between black cats and witches began in the Middle Ages. due to a cat’s nocturnal roaming, they quickly developed the reputation of being witches, witches pets or demons sent to spy on humans. Throughout history, Black Cats were killed alongside their owners who were thought to be witches. Some people today still associate the two.

Black cats are Bad luck:

As we all know, Black Cats are associated with bad luck. This connection seems to have originated from medieval times. All animals that had black fur or feathers were considered a signal of death. As such cats got a bad rep for being the bringers of death and bad luck.

​Did you know though that the myths around black cats aren’t all bad?

Black cats were sacred in Celtic mythologyScottish lore holds that a black cat’s arrival at a new home signifies prosperity, while Welsh lore states that a black cat brings good health:

I love this welsh folklore rhyme,

A black cat, I’ve heard it said,
Can charm all ill away,
And keep the house wherein she dwells
From fever’s deadly sway.

This Wikipedia article was fascinating in describing how black cats have been viewed throughout the years. I’m interested in the history of Feline domestication and find it intriguing that black cats have always received a bad reputation. Why not all cats?

For me, cats are cats no matter their colour. I love them all! So treasure the black cats in your life because unfortunately, they carry with them years of stigma…

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2 Comments

  1. Sherry Cassin

    In many cultures around the world, black cats are good luck and bring good fortune into the home. It is the Puritans fleeing religious persecution who brought the superstitions with them from Europe in the 1600s and settled in Massachusetts – think the Salem witch hunts! Everyone who adopts a black cat knows that they join a special club of cat lovers who know their black cats are special and unique going back centuries to the Egyptians who honored their feline god, Bastat who was black!

    Reply
    • Zara Willmott

      Thank you for the info, I find this fascinating

      Reply

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