Wednesday Whatever – Black Cats

October 28, 2009 at 10:46 am (Cats, Halloween, Magic, pagan, Samhain, Witch)

Black Cats
Austin Lost Pets

Black cats have carried many opposing meaning throughout history. Depending upon your line of work or the country you live in, black cats can be lucky or unlucky. Halloween brings these beliefs to light more than any other time of the year. Some of the legends handed down over time follow. Later we’ll take a look at a 7 year old black cat and find out what black cats are really like.
The Legend:

  • If a black cat crosses your path, you will have GOOD luck. Yes, that’s right some believe that this event bring GOOD luck. Variations to this belief say that you must politely greet the cat OR stroke the cat 3 times to bring the good luck.
  • If a black cat crosses your path, you will have bad luck. This is a very common unproven belief in America. King Charles I of England owned a black cat, whom he valued very much. He treasured the cat so much that he had his guards watch over it 24 hours a day. As luck would have it, the day after the cat died from an illness, the king was arrested.
  • Some believe black cats are witches in disguise. Others believe black cats are witches familiars. (Beings that aid witches in performing their craft.)
  • Fisherman’s wives kept black cats while their husbands went away to sea. They believed that the black cats would prevent danger from occurring to their husbands. These black cats were considered so valuable that they were often stolen.
  • As a sailor walked up a pier, any cat running ahead of him could bring him luck. If any cat crossed his path, it would mean bad luck.
  • Sailors kept cats on board ships to bring them luck. If the ship cat approached a sailor, it meant good luck. If the cat approached halfway and went away, bad luck would surely follow. If a cat was thrown overboard, a storm would rise and very bad luck would follow.
  • Various cat parts were also though to be good medicine for a wide range of illnesses.
  • Some believed that black cats carried demons.
  • Some believe that black cats have special powers and abilities.
  • In Australia and Britain, black cats are though to be lucky.
  • Another belief states: A bride will have a happy married life if a black cat sneezes near her on her wedding day.
  • All cats were thought to be sacred in ancient Egypt.
  • Back in ancient days, the Druids thought black cats were human beings. These humans in cat form were being punished for evil deeds.
  • Some believed that black cats could fly on a broom stick.

The Truth:
Mark Levin produced an experiment to test the theory that black cats cause bad luck, which can be found at (link is dead, but I included it incase, much like a cat, it has additional lives Big Grin)In his experiment, there was no proof that black cats cause bad luck. Personally after living with a black cat, who was rescued, for 7 years, I can honestly say I have not had what you would call bad luck. And I’m sure my path is crossed at least 20 times a day! People make their own luck, good or bad. Luck is the result of the actions you choose.

People harm black cats around Halloween time. Because of the legend surrounding black cats, most animal facilities take measures to prevent cruelty. Black cats are not adoptable in the weeks before or after Halloween. Many black cats have a very hard time finding a loving home because of these legends.

There are a few other beliefs people have regarding cats that put them in grave danger. One belief is that cats can be set free and they will fend for themselves. Cats turned away from their homes must turn feral (wild) or starve. Most will starve. The ones that do become wild have a very hard life.
I’m sure you’ve all seen cartoons and movies where a basket of kittens is abandoned on someone’s doorstep. This occurs all too often. In fact, when I visited the zoo, a carrier full of kittens had been left that morning in front of the gate. People even stop in a parking lot or on the side of the road to dump cats and dogs off. These stories are very sad, but very true.
Meet a Real Black Cat:
Fairway Junior was a wee tyke of four weeks old, when he was found all alone in the middle of a golf course. The closest house was 2 miles away and there was no people or cats to be found anywhere close by. Junior was picked up and brought home. Upon arrival, he screamed for a meal and ate nearly all of a small can of cat food. We’ve lived with him ever since. He likes visitors in his home and will politely greet most people. He really likes men, but is friendly to some women and most children. There are certain times of the day when he demands a head scratch. He plays quite a bit with his younger adopted brother cat, but sleeps many hours of the day and night. He has no special powers and brings no particular luck, but he is a very loving, loyal cat.

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