Every human culture has superstitions. In some Asian cultures people believe that sweeping a floor after sunset can bring bad luck. In the U.S., people may panic if they accidentally walk under a ladder or see a black cat cross their path. Also, you might find that some tall buildings don’t label their 13th floor as this number is associated with bad luck.
What would you do if you saw a black cat in the street directly in front of you? Should you stop, turn around, and take the long way around the block? Or should you ignore the uneasy feeling in your stomach? After all, how could a black cat affect your life and bring bad luck?
Black cats have been associated with bad luck and evil for hundreds of years. But why? How and when did those cuddly furry balls get such a bad reputation?
In ancient Egypt, more than 5000 years ago, people worshipped cats no matter their color. If someone tortured or killed a cat, then h would face the death penalty.
So what happened in the meanwhile? According to historians, superstitions about black cats started back to Europe in the Middle Ages. At that time, some older women were accused of witchcraft and practicing black magic.
The legend says that a father with his son were traveling on a moonless night when a black cat crossed their path. They threw stones at the cat and the injured animal found its way into the nearby home of a woman suspected of being a witch. The woman happened to appear limping and bruised the next day, which made people suspect that the woman could turn into black cat at night to prowl the streets unnoticed.
This disturbing belief carried over to the prosecution of witches across Europe and eventually to the Salem Witch Trials. Black cats whose owners were accused of witchcraft were associated with the Devil and evil. People thought black cats assisted witches in their evil deeds, and also that witches could transform into black cats to lurk in the shadows and cast spells on people. Both witches and black cats were persecuted and killed together.
Luckily, there were also plenty of black cat-lovers throughout history! Except for ancient Egyptians, in certain parts of Europe, during the 19th century, black cat sightings were actually considered good omens. The Irish believed that a black cat on your porch was good luck, and in Japan black cats are similarly revered as symbols of wealth and affluence.
Gradually, these bad superstitions have virtually vanished and black cats are now a part of many families across the world.
How do you feel about black cats? Share with us in the comments below your thoughts or superstitions.
Are you a black cat lover? You surely want to check out this black cat cafe in Japan!!