Archive for October 2019

Bad Rap

October 30, 2019

October is always a good time to talk about cats. Maybe, because of their association with Halloween and the superstitions that go along with it, cats through the ages have gotten a bad rap. From the Middle Ages, when they were persecuted and often killed, to modern times when many false notions still exist, cats have had a bad reputation. Especially black cats. Here are some of the incredulous beliefs that have plagued them.

Because of their color, black cats are a sign of death and bad luck, much like ravens and crows.

If a black cat walks toward you, it brings good luck. If it walks away, it takes the luck with them.

If a cat jumps over a grave, the deceased will rise as a vampire.

Possessing a black cat is good luck, coming across one accidentally is bad.

In Indonesia, pouring water on a cat will make it rain (because the cat takes revenge).

If a cat sleeps with all four paws tucked it, bad weather is on the way.

Dreaming of cats means bad luck.

A cat sneezing means money is coming your way. In reality, it might mean your cat is sick, as we discovered this past summer.

Finding any white fur on a black cat means good luck, which probably stems from the belief that if any white fur was found on a black cat thought to belong to a witch, it would be spared.

On the other hand, in Japan, black cats are a symbol of prosperity, and a woman with a cat is thought to attract more suitors.

British sailors thought cats brought good luck and wanted one on their ship to catch the mice.

In Ireland, a black cat on the porch meant good luck.

In ancient Egypt, cats were considered divine and thought to have gods dwelling within them. They were often mummified along with their owners when they died.

In view of all this craziness is it any wonder that mass killings of cats spread across Europe? In an effort to eradicate the bad omens cats were thought to represent, they were destroyed, and as a result, the population of rats with the fleas that carried the Plague exploded. And we all know where that led.

Perhaps this is why even today cats are often considered aloof, not affectionate, and even expendable. Black cats especially still have a stigma, but these notions couldn’t be further from the truth. As the owner of a black cat, I will testify he likes nothing better than to spend his time napping on a lap or simply sitting in a window. He’s never had an evil intention in his life, although he does love to knock things off the table. As for cats not being affectionate, I guess our two never heard about that, because they are as friendly and people-oriented as the dogs. Maybe even more so! Knowing cats can be such great companions, it’s hard to realize shelters everywhere are so full of cats. One shelter in Indiana recently reported having 500 cats in residence. 500! How sad they are still allowed to overpopulate when there are so few forever homes. Spay and neuter is the only solution.

On Halloween, please be aware of your pets’ safety and keep them inside or at least enclosed somewhere. Not everyone has their best interests in mind, and allowing them to roam free is asking for trouble. The true evil lies with someone who might abuse them. Don’t let your pet become a victim.

 

Zombie

 

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!