I am a cat-fanatic. I have loved them ever since being a little girl and I adore them to this day. It’s safe to say that cats are my favorite animal. I follow, like, at least 10 Facebook pages related to cats, mostly comedic in nature. Who doesn’t enjoy perusing the web and laughing at outrageously funny cat pics and videos?
Black cats are my favorite. Sure, they get a bad rap but that is pure nonsense. A black cat crossing your path will not give you bad luck. But, according to superstition did you know that the direction it is walking can change your luck? Yes. If a black cat is walking towards you it will supposedly bring you good fortune. But if the critter is walking away from you, you better watch your ass. ”To reverse the bad luck curse of a black cat crossing your path, first walk in a circle, then go backward across the spot where it happened and count to 13″ (Moore, n.d.). Try doing that in public and see how people react. But let’s not get all racist here. Even cracker cats have superstitions associated with them. In Britain, white cats bring bad luck, not black ones. If you see a white cat at night, you’re in for it. But to see a white on the road, during the day, is lucky. “In England, it was believed that if a black cat lived in the house, the young lass would have plenty of suitors” (Moore, n.d.). Um. Either this is false or it is because I do not live in England, or it is because I own TWO black cats and they cancel each other out.
You might be familiar with the need to keep cats indoors on Halloween for their safety- particularly black cats. A dude by the name of Nicholas Remy (you might be familiar with him if you have heard of the Inquisition) deemed that all cats were demons and were associated with witches. In fact, Remy proposed, witches could turn into cats, being dubbed the term familiars.
In the late 14th century it was suggested that the “witches” on trial worshiped cats alongside the devil. Well this just would not do for an uneducated and naive society. The new custom was to set cats on fire alongside their owners. This led to the whole “black cats are bad luck” thing (black because this is the color of darkness and evil). To add insult to injury, the Celts would practice soothsaying, especially around Samhain (the original name for Halloween) and early Christians frowned upon this fortune-telling (as forbidden by the bible). Because cats in history and even today in some parts of the world are symbols of soothsaying, this was another reason that cats were killed and seen as bad luck. To keep going even further, cats were blamed for the black plague and were seen as incarnations of the devil. Ironically, the mass killing of cats helped lead to the plague due to infestations of rats. While we know today that cats are simply cats, some hold on to old customs, particularly religious fanatics who intend to drive the devil out of every aspect of their lives. There are people who practice Satanism or other similar dark arts who slaughter cats during Halloween rituals and another irony is that it is white cats that are more coveted due to being symbolized as “youthful” and “virgin-esque.” However, animal shelters are known to forbid the adoption of cats on Halloween because some evil folks will take any cat, regardless of color if desperate enough. So, it is best to keep kitty indoors on Halloween. I go the extra step and make my cats stay in the couple days leading up to Halloween as well. Better safe than sorry.
Moore, G. (n.d.) CatStuff: Folklore, Superstitions and Proverbs. Retrieved September 10, 2013 from http://user.xmission.com/~emailbox/folklore.htm#witches