Black Cats: The Superstitions

Do black cats mean good luck or bad luck for you?

You are strolling along, your thoughts are occupied with the trials, and tribulations, of your day. You fail to notice the small, dark creature, nonchalantly prowling its way toward you at a right angle.

You are weary, and your pace is slow. The lithe mammal's paws project it to the point of intersection slightly before you.

As it passes in front of you, your mind instantly snaps out of its preoccupation. You are suddenly aware of what has happened...

black cat with green eyes

...a black cat has crossed your path!

Do you believe it is a sign of ill fortune when black cats cross your path? Or do you conclude the cat has dispensed a run of good luck, by passing in front of you?

Whether you believe black cats to be good or bad luck could depend on where it is in the world that you live.

Even within different countries, there exists differing beliefs, and superstitions concerning black felines.

If you live in the United States, or most European countries, then black cats passing in front of you will likely make you believe that no matter how dismal things are now, things are going to get worse.

If however you live in the United Kingdom, or in Japan, black kittens or cats crossing your path will probably make you smile, and think that good fortune is on its way.

Live in Germany and you will probably believe that black kittens or cats crossing your path from left to right, is a bad omen. But from right to left and the cat is granting favorable times for you.

In Italy many hold the superstition that if an inky feline lays on a sick persons bed, death will follow.

In China there are those that believe black felines to be harbingers of famine and poverty.

Latvian farmers, that find black kitties in their grain silos, dance with joy. They believe these felines to be the spirit of Rungis, a god of harvests.

Crossing the path of a black cat, as opposed to it crossing yours, is generally thought of as inviting the very worst of luck.

In Scotland folks believe finding black kittens sitting in their porch is a sure sign of riches, and happiness to come.

Black Cats Superstition...

Cats that are black are of course neither lucky or unlucky. A cat of any color is just a cat and cannot influence fortune... unless you believe it can.

However superstitions persist about ebony coated cats even in this modern age. Probably because of their dark and mysterious appearance most superstition about black felines would have us believe the cat is malevolent - utter nonsense, of course.

Sadly, there are sometimes reports of people being wickedly cruel to these cats. Often the feeble excuse given by these sadistic morons involves a superstition that the cat had harmful influence over them.

These people need influence over themselves and need dealing with firmly.

In most parts of the world it is thought that a black cat walking towards you is a certainty of good luck coming your way.

Should the cat stop and turn away, before it reaches you, then don't take any risks or place any bets, fair fortune is not to be yours.

Chasing black coated cats out of your house is a certain way to ensure that yours will not be a lucky house.

Stroking the fur of black felines will bring you both health, and wealth. In some fishing communities, the fishermen's wives keep their cats indoors, believing that this will keep their men folk safe from peril whilst at sea.

black cat

Many people around the world believe that there is a single white hair to be found, on even the blackest of cats.

Pull out that hair, without getting a scratch, and yours will be a long, happy and prosperous marriage.

Whatever the local superstitions about cats that are black, most owners of cats consider themselves lucky and blessed. And indeed it is a blessing to own a cat, black or not.

Black Cats and Witchcraft

Read tales, or myths, about witches, and those tales will almost always involve black kittens and cats.

How did the small, endearing, domestic cat become so associated with witchcraft and the evil arts?

In the 15th century witch hunts were taking place across Europe in an effort to stamp out pagan religions.

Many held the belief that all witches kept familiars. These familiars were small creatures, frogs, birds, snakes and such, and very often cats. Folklore held that witches used the power of their familiars in casting evil spells.

Many elderly people led solitary, isolated lives, with only a pet cat for company. If that cat was black, a color associated with magic and mystery, was that not proof that the unfortunate victim, was a witch or warlock?

If some disaster befell a village, and an elderly woman lived nearby with her old dark cat, it was easy to denounce the poor wretch as a witch, and blame the disaster on her.

Ludicrously biased trials were held, and the accused was inevitably found guilty. Cruel executions were performed, such as burning at the stake of both the witches and their feline companions.

Many stories exist about people being identified as witches through wounds inflicted upon black felines.

A story from Scotland tells of a powerful landowner who found his supplies of wine to keep mysteriously disappearing. Determined to catch the thief, he hid himself in his wine cellar.

Soon he was inexplicably surrounded by black mousers. He lashed out with his sword two or three times, and the cats quickly vanished. Raising his lantern, he found a severed feline leg.

In the morning, an elderly woman, known to have kept a black kitty, was discovered bleeding to death, with one of her legs hacked off.

Enjoy pictures, posters and prints, of black cats? Take a look at this page Black Cat Pictures

A coven of witches was believed to gather in a ruined castle by moonlight, and take the shape of huge cats with the blackest of coats. Some villagers volunteered to creep into the castle and capture the witches.

As they entered the castle, they were attacked by dozens of huge black, ferocious cats. One of the men was killed by the cats, the rest, after beating off the malicious felines with cudgels, ran bleeding from scratch wounds back to the village.

In the morning, several spinsters of the village were found to be covered in bruises, as if beaten by cudgels.

 Black Cats Superstition

Another story tells of a farmer who, at midnight, cut off the ear of a black cat that he thought was bewitching his cattle.

At daylight he returned to the field and found not a cat's ear, but the ear of a woman, complete with an ear ring.

There is the myth of the boy who came upon three witches turning themselves into black felines. Capturing him the witches made the boy swear to secrecy, and allowed him to leave.

On his return home, the boys mother made him tell of what he had witnessed.

Days later the boy was found dead, his body covered with hundreds of claw marks.

French medieval records tell of a woman accused of witchcraft who confessed, probably under torture, to rubbing herself with a foul ointment. This she claimed turned her into a black cat so she could move unseen at night and practice her evil art.

Germany has lots of legends of black coated cats and witches. While being sentenced to death, a German witch cackled at the judge, spat threats to the priest, and cursed her executioner.

She was dragged from the court and tied to a stake for burning.

As the flames rose around her she let forth a deafening cackle, there was a flash and a black cat leaped from the flames and escaped amongst the astonished crowd.

King Charles the first of England owned a black cat. He believed this cat to be lucky and was so afraid of losing it he had it guarded day and night.

black cat

Coincidentally the cat died the very day before Oliver Cromwell's parliamentary troops came and arrested the king.

Shortly after, King Charles was taken to the scaffold and beheaded.

Hopefully this page has been helpful in supplying information about the myths and superstitions surrounding Black Kittens and Cats. Remember that these dark felines are the same as any other cats - lovable, affectionate creatures, that if cared for, give years of companionship.

Here is a list of black cat names it may help you in finding some perfect Names for Black Cats.

Tell Us About Your Own Black Cat

If you have a photo of your dark feline so much the better, you can share that with us too.

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