What’s up with black cat superstitions?
Anyone who has a black cat knows they are just as sweet and lovable as any other cat, but they have long been associated with bad luck and witchery. So how did black cats get such a bad rap?
It started with the Celts…According to Celtic mythology, a fairy named Cat Sith (or Cat Sidhe) changed it’s shape into a black cat and began haunting the Scottish Highlands. While the ‘Fairy Cat’ was feared, the Celts also believed the black cat could bring blessings.
The Middle Ages….Historians believe black cats were often companions to those practicing witchcraft and were therefore guilty by association. Because of this, black cats were all but obliterated. Unfortunately, doing so contributed to half of Europe being wiped out by the Black Plague as there were less cats to kill the rats that were spreading the disease.
Pilgrims at Plymouth…The Puritans took Celtic folklore to heart and associated them with sorcery and witchcraft. Unfortunately, black cats were included in their anti-witch crusades.
Not all bad…In countries like Japan and the British Islands, black cats were believed to bring good luck and prestige to their households. Ancient Chinese history tells a story of Li Shou, a cat god that protected farmers by eating the rodents that threatened their crops. Black cats were considered sacred and worshiped by ancient Egyptians.
Black cats are still associated with Halloween today, but we welcome them into our homes with open arms anyway. Just to be on the safe side, please keep your feline friends indoors during this year’s Halloween festivities!