- Holidays and Celebrations
Black Cats: Bearer of Good Fate or Misfortune?
Symbols of Bad Luck
During the Dark Ages, the black cat's ill reputation was associated to witchcraft. Those with pet cats who were black where accused of being witches, as perceived by many, to be demonic animals given to them by the devil. Anyone caught with a black cat as companion would be severely punished or even killed. It was also believed that Satan turned into a cat when associating with witches.
Scottish folklore believed in a fairy known as Cat Sith, a giant black cat who got the ability to steal souls of the dead. Thus, it led to the creation of night-and-day watch called the "Late Wake" guarding their dead before burial.
In Germany, some believed that a black cat crossing one's path could be a bad omen if crossing from right to left. On the contrary, a black cat crossing from left to right would cast a favorable spell.
In Ancient Egypt, all cats even the black ones, were placed in high esteem, honored and worshipped. Killing one was considered a cardinal crime. The pet's death was mourned by the entire family. The bodies of their cats were embalmed in exquisite, ethereal fashion wrapped in fine linen and placed in mummy cases of precious bronze and wood. Wood was considered prized, unique and extraordinary because of its scarcity.
The ancient Egyptian society considered in sum cats of all sizes sacred, thus, revered. In their honor they were given jewelry in hieroglyphics. Cats were the most recognizable animal in the Egyptian culture and the puny sized cats often found underneath women's chairs on solace, deemed to be evoking fertility and sexuality.
A Good Omen
In Japan, black cats are considered favorably as they bring good luck. They are important to single women. A lady who owns a black cat will have many fine suitors. While in Russia, all cats even black ones are perceived positively and associated with good fate. To some parts of the Scottish community, owning a black cat signifies prosperity in the home.
In France, black cats are considered matagots (magician cats). They bring good luck to owners who feed them well and get the respect it deserves. The French also believe, If you find one white hair on a black cat, Lady Luck will smile at you.
Sailors and Pirates of the 18th century believed that having a black cat or the ship's cat on voyage would bring good luck.
The Pennsylvania Dutch or known as the cultural group formed by early German-speaking immigrants to Pennsylvania and their descendants, affirm that to place a cat in an empty cradle of a newly wed couple will grant the couple's wish for children.
Whatever our opinion or perspective on black cats are, to the wonders of all creation, God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
"I like cats a lot. I've always liked cats. They're great company. When they eat, they always leave a little bit at the bottom of the bowl. A dog will polish the bowl, but a cat always leaves a little bit. It's like an offering." _ Christopher Walken