We humans are a superstitious lot and each culture across the world has its own set of superstitions. One animal that is universally associated with a whole lot of beliefs is the cat and amongst cats, the black cats stand out for being associated with all kinds of things, some propitious and some foreboding.
Black cats have been given a very hard time by us, particularly in the Europe of the Middle Ages, when they were associated with wizardry and witchcraft. Even old women keeping poor black cats as pets were not spared and burnt at the stake as witches as was the case during the Salem witch hunts in America. This was the nadir of human-cat relationship; a huge fall from the days of the Egyptian civilization, when cats including black ones were deified and held in very high regard.
Let’s take a look at some black cats superstitions from around the world
– 1. The Scots believe that an unknown black cat on your porch brings bad luck.
2. In Britain and in Japan, you’re in luck if a black cat crosses your path.
3. In many European countries and also in the U.S, people take the opposite view; they cross their fingers and hope for the best if a black feline happens to saunter across the road in front of them.
4. The Irish dread having a black cat crossing their path in the moonlight; they see it as an omen of death in an epidemic.
5. Couldn’t find the provenance of this one, but it sure reads like the creation of a totally idle brain that indeed was the devil’s workshop – If you find a single white hair on a totally black cat and manage to pluck it out without getting scratched, you’re going to get a fortune.
6. Another one that cannot be placed but is not difficult to see how it came about – If you walk under a ladder after a black cat has walked under it, you will suffer misfortune.
7. A few other variants – Meet a black cat in the morning for a whole day of bad luck; drive a black cat away from your property at your own risk; beware if a black cat turns its back on you.
8. A sick Italian finding a black cat curled alongside his bed will often give up all hope of recovering.
9. In Latvia, black cats have had better luck; over there farmers consider these cats as a sign of good luck, particularly when found in their grain sheds.
10. On the lines of the Italian superstition, it is believed in some parts of the world that if a black cat is seen during a funeral procession then that foretells the demise of another member of the family.