Black cats have been the subject of superstition for centuries. Unfortunately, as a result they have often suffered (and sometimes still suffer today.) Here are some of the weird, wonderful and not so wonderful myths about these felines which have arisen through the centuries and around the world:
Druids believed that these cats were humans, but had been reincarnated as cats as a punishment for mis-deeds in a previous life.
In the Middle Ages in England, all cats – but black colored ones in particular – were often associated with evil and witchcraft. Some people believed black cats were demons who helped witches to perform black magic. Others thought the cats were witches themselves, and even believed they could fly on a broomstick!
In the Middle Ages in Germany, it was believed that a black cat jumping on the bed of a sick person meant that person would die.
In Finland, around the same time, black cats were thought to carry the souls of the dead into the afterlife.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, black cats were kept by fishermen’s wives, as it was believed they would keep their husbands safe at sea.
Today, if you live in England, Scotland or Australia, a black cat that crosses your path is meant to bring good luck. But if you live in Ireland, America or India, it’s said to bring bad luck.
Unfortunately, black cats are still regarded with superstition and fear in a lot of places. Many rescue shelters often won’t re-home them around Halloween, because some people will harm them.
Finally – what’s the truth about these cats?
Black cats make lovely pets. They’re no more lucky or unlucky than any other color cat. There’s no evidence to support any of the fears and superstitions, past or present. Hopefully it won’t be long at all before all the negative beliefs about these cats disappear for good.
-By: Liz Allan
Liz Allan has 25 years experience of caring for cats. Click on this link for more myths and facts about black cats.
For lots of useful information on cat care, breeds, illnesses and behavior, visit her website: http://www.cat-behavior-explained.com