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In The Middle Ages, Europeans Associated Black Cats With Witchcraft. (Video)

black cat

Don’t be superstitious! October 27 may be National Black Cat Day, but it is all about celebrating the beauty of these sleek creatures.

While this time of year black cats may decorate many thresholds for Halloween and windows for spooky decor, these felines deserve the love and attention just as much as their tabby counterparts.  Old notions have given these furry critters a bad reputation. National Black Cat Day is about turning that reputation around.

  • Cats in ancient Egypt were revered highly, partly due to their ability to combat vermin such as mice, rats.
  • Cats of royalty were known to be dressed in golden jewelry and were allowed to eat right off their owners’ plates.
  • The goddess of warfare was a woman with the head of a cat named Bastet.
  • Freyja, the goddess of love, beauty, and magic had a charriot pulled by black cats!
  • In Celtic mythology, it was believed that fairies could take the form of black cats, and therefore their arrival to a home or village was seen as sign of good luck.
  • Somewhere during the Middle Ages, Europeans got the idea that black cats were associated with witchcraft. The elderly, solitary women who often fed and cared for stray cats were also often (mis) identified as witches and the cats as their conspirators.
  • In England (except Yorkshire) and Ireland, should a black cat cross your path, it’s good luck.
  • Speaking of Great Britain, giving a cat to a bride in the English Midlands is good luck.
  • Are you Scottish? A strange black cat arriving at your home means you may win the jackpot!(A stray black cat arriving on your doorstep signals prosperity.).
  • If you’re German, you have to pay attention. If the cat crosses your path from right to left, that’s bad; left to right is good. Directionally challenged? We can’t help.
  • If you’re a pirate, it gets even more complicated. If the black cat is walking toward you, it’s bad luck. If it’s walking away, that’s good. If the cat walks onto the ship and then back off—get off the ship, it’s going to sink. If you can get a cat to do any of those things on command, that’s impressive.
  • Fishermen (and their wives) saw black cats as good luck, with many keeping them on their ships or in their homes. Black cats became so highly valued that some could not afford them.
  • In Japan, black cats are considered symbols of good luck, especially for single women. Owning a black cat is thought to attract potential suitors.
  • In Russia, all cats are viewed as lucky.
  • There is not just one breed of black cat. There are 22 cat breeds in the Cat Fanciers Association directory that list “black” as a color option.
  • Bombay cats were bred specifically to look like panthers. Who was responsible? Louiville, KY breeder Nikki Horner. Bombays are known to be outgoing and playful.
  • Many black cats have golden eyes, which is the result of high melanin pigment content in their bodies.
  • Black cats can be boys or girls, but more are male than female.
  • Black cats go with every décor, and, best of all, you can’t see their fur on your furniture!
  • Black Cats Can Rust. Okay, so they don’t actually rust like a tin can or bike, but if your black cat has a tabby stripe gene and loves to spend his days lounging in the sun, his fur can turn a rusty brown color. Why? The sun’s rays break down the pigment in their fur to reveal the underlying tabby stripes.
  • The number 1 Halloween costume for children is a black cat. Oddly enough, it’s also the number 1 costume for women in their freshman year of college.


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