In Western culture, black cats are often viewed as bringers of bad luck or symbol of evil omen. Some people hold the superstition that if a black cat crosses paths with a person, it means misfortune.
Black cats weren’t always the victim of superstitions, over 5,000 years ago, Romans, considered the cat sacred. Also, the ancient Egyptians worshiped cats and to kill one carried the death penalty. This begs the question, when and how did luck change for our furry feline friends?
Historians have traced these superstitions about black cats to the 17th century and Salem Witch Trials when black cats being fed and cared for by old lonely women accused of witchcraft were also deemed guilty of witchcraft just for the crime of being associated with, cared for or owned by the accused.
This belief became widespread when folklore about a father and son traveling on a moonless night in Lincolnshire in the 1560’s came upon a black cat and started throwing rocks at it until the injured feline ran into the house of a woman, who was suspected of being a witch. The next day, the pair came across the woman and noticed she was limping and bruised and believed that to be that witches could turn into black cats at night.
This association is just a superstition, nothing more but sadly, it is a superstition still held by many which is why you would find associations of witches and black cats on several Halloween decorations.
It’s not all bad news for black cats, however.
People need to realize that it’s irrational to say that black cats bring bad luck.
So, a black cat crossing your path is unlucky in the USA? Interestingly that same belief is considered nonsense in Japan where they believe it is good luck.
There are as many beliefs of black cats bringing good luck as there are of them bringing bad luck. In some cultures black cats are revered and deemed a symbol of good luck till today. For example in Scotland, the arrival of a strange black cat in a home signifies prosperity while the English believe that a black cat as a wedding present brings the bride good luck.
In different cultures, other colors of cats are also seen as lucky or unlucky which means that the bad or good luck they are accused of bringing is dependent on where you live since having a black cat cross your path in Japan or Britain is considered good luck, whereas it is bad luck in the USA and some European countries.
Black cats make wonderful pets and take really cute selfies too. Throughout history, and in many cultures, black cats are seen as lucky and sacred. For example:
* The Norse Goddess of Fertility and Love Freya is said to drive a chariot which is pulled by two black cats.
* In the United Kingdom if a black cat walking towards someone, is believed to bring good fortune, but a black cat walking away from a person is believed to be taking the good fortune with it.
* It is said to be a lucky omen to dream of a black cat.
* Back cats are referred to as “matagots” or “magician cats.” in the South of France where they are believed to bring good luck to those who treat them with respect and feed them well.
* Fisherman’s wives whose husbands were away at sea were said to keep black cats believing that treating them kindly would keep their husband out of harm’s way.
* Feng Shui Advocates point out that cats are drawn to happy places and homes. Therefore a happy cat shows that the home is a happy one.
* In some cultures, giving a bride a black cat as a wedding present is believed to bring good luck to the bride.
* The Scots also believe that a black cat crossing your path means good things to come. A black cat on your porch will bring prosperity.
* English monarch King Charles I had a black cat whom he treasured a lot. After his treasured black cat took ill and died, King Charles was said to have lamented that his luck was gone. True to his belief, he was arrested the next day and charged with high treason.
Black cats are also bringing very good tidings and news as some researchers are studying the color mutation of black cats with the belief that an understanding of the color mutation of black cats might lead to cure of various types of cancer and aids treatment. Isn’t that great news? Our black furry feline friends are good luck for sure!