We’ve all heard the negative superstitions surrounding black cats widely believed in some countries. But this wasn’t always the case. And in many areas throughout world history, black cats are considered extremely LUCKY!
So how much of the history of black cats do YOU know already? It may be less than you thought!
During Europe’s middle ages, cats began to be associated with “so-called” witches. One article mentions further “proof” of this that spread the belief in 16th century England. And these theories became deeply ingrained in the American colonies during the devastating Salem witch trials.
The story goes as such.
A father and son came across a black cat while walking in the woods. After throwing rocks at the poor feline, it ran into a nearby house. The woman whose house it was, was of course a suspected witch. When the “witch” was seen the next day in town, limping and bruised, this was proof enough to believe she had transformed into the cat. Witches apparently did this so they could prowl the streets at night unseen.
Of course. Because being hit with rocks in cat form by bullies was preferred to walking at night as a human! My goodness….
So what of these other superstitions throughout history that associate black cats with prosperity and good luck?
Many believe that black cats bring wealth, prosperity and can lead you to treasure. Bonus!
In Japan, the “Fortune Cats” are small statues of a cat with raised paws. These are meant to bring good luck and wealth. Although primarily used in businesses, many choose to keep these figurines in their homes. You can choose either white or black colored cats. However, the black cat variety is also used to frighten away evil, demons and stalkers!
In the French countryside, there is an interesting “tail”. Peasants believed that if you release a black cat at a crossroads containing 5 intersecting roads, following the cat would lead you to a treasure.
When in the south of France, you may hear the word “matagot”. This is how locals refer to black cats, also known as “money” or “magician” cats. The cat must be shown respect. For example, providing proper sleeping quarters, offering the first bite during a meal or being allowed to remain in the home after their owner’s death. If this is done, the cat will reward their human with good luck and wealth.
Black cats make your home safe.
Feng Shui practitioners believe that black cats posses very strong powers of protection and good. In the home, a cat statue should be placed in the Southeast area of your home of office, facing north. We think it better to have a live black cat prowling your home guarding you though!
Many countries believe that black cats actually ward off evil spirits, not the falsely advertised opposite effect.
The history of cats in mythology.
Norse mythology brings us Freya, the goddess of love, fertility and beauty. She rides a chariot pulled by 2 black cats. Farmers wanting to win her favor would leave bowls of milk for her in their fields as offerings. The goddess would then bless their fields with a successful harvest.
More well known is the Egyptian goddess, Bastat. She is recorded as the goddess of home, domesticity, women’s secrets, cats, fertility, and childbirth. Bastat protected the home from evil spirits and disease, especially those associated with women and children. Much loved and worshiped by both men and women, Bastat and cats held a special place in the Egyptian world. Cats protected the home and crops from pests and vermin, and were accepted as loving companions.
Black cats bring love and bless marriages.
Japanese superstitions say that single women who are looking for love, can benefit by adopting a black cat. This will in turn attract many good suitors to her.
Now in England, it is believed that giving a bride a black cat on her wedding day will bring good luck to the marriage. Newlyweds that share their home with a black cat are thought to be blessed with a long, happy life.
Traveling at sea with a black cat.
During the times of sailors and oceanic exploration, black cats were thought to be assurance for a safe return. The fact that they also were believed to bring wealth was a bonus! In fact, they were thought to be so lucky that prices to purrchase black cats were so high, unfortunately most seafarers couldn’t afford them.
Black cats in the performing arts.
Having a black cat is believed to be a foolproof source of success in the theater community. On opening night of a play, if a black cat wanders into your theater, you can be sure your play will run long and prosperously. All dark color felines are actually treated with the utmost respect. For those greeted at the theater entrances by these felines fortune smiles upon them. Any that are lucky enough to have the cat rub up against them are doubly fortunate!
Cats also make excellent audience members as we recently discovered. Just ask anyone who has visited the Cinema Theater in Rochester, NY!
No matter where you are in the world, or what your history entails, all black cats are special souls that deserve the same chance at a loving home life that any cat does!
We are very blessed to share ours with Cole, who helped us discover the plight that these gorgeous house panthers are experiencing. Don’t let these unfortunate fur-babies suffer in shelters due to outdated and irrational fears and superstitions!
Share the word; black cats are AMEOWZING! Remember to Adopt; Don’t Shop!