Black Cat Superstition
It was not until the mid-16th Century, in Europe, when black cats in particular, began to be associated with “bad” luck and be linked to witchcraft. Witch hysteria was just spreading throughout Europe. Long before it reached the shores of America and caught fire in Salem, MA an unfortunate legend was born.
In the village of Lincolnshire, England a poor elderly woman was an outcast in the town. She was unjustly suspected of being a witch and eventually accused. At any rate, when a father and son were headed home from the local tavern, a black cat crossed their path. The drunken men hit the cat with rocks and chased the poor thing into the shack of the old lady. When the old lady was seen limping the next day the village decided that she was actually the cat. The village persecuted the old woman and accused her of witchcraft and “shape-shifting.”
Sadly, no one knows how many lonely destitute women and gentle loving cat companions were killed in this purge. One thing is for certain, black cats were singled out for extermination. The idea that witches could transform themselves into black cats was also a belief that was repeated in America during the Salem witch trials. For a time, cats were burned on Shrove Tuesday (before Lent started), as a ritual that was supposed to protect people from fire and other accidents.
The Black Plague
Good Luck Cats
The Irish have an ancient saying that if you kill a cat it brings you 17 years of bad luck. Scottish folklore says when a black cat arrives at your doorstep, it signifies happiness and prosperity. In the English Midlands, when a black cat is given as a wedding present it brings good luck to the bride. Black cats in Japan (and throughout the Orient) have always been considered lucky.
Today pet lovers and owners believe that their lives are enriched by the fur babies that become a part of their family. And if you are considering adopting a cat, you might think about getting a black cat for GOOD LUCK!
Have a lucky day!