Facts and superstitions about the black cat

The superstition that a black cat is a harbinger of misfortune did not exist at all times. The origins of belief in the mystical power of cats, regardless of whether they were considered carriers of good luck or misfortune, go back to the immemorial depth of millennia.

To understand the origins of this phenomenon, you can travel back to the 4th millennium BC. e. to Egypt, whose inhabitants were convinced that cats are the embodiment of the goddess Bastet, depicted as a woman with a cat's head. Since Bastet was revered as the goddess of beauty, fertility and light, her four-legged representative was a welcome guest everywhere.

The cat was revered as a sacred animal. Statues were erected in her honor. She had access to all the premises and often saved her owners from the invasion of rodents on the storehouses, which threatened the owners with hunger. Fluffy idols enjoyed such love and veneration that after death they were rewarded with mummification and burial in a luxurious sarcophagus, in which they often put previously killed mice, called upon to accompany the divine animal to the afterlife.

With the ancient Greeks, cats appeared on the European continent. The original plan of the Greeks to buy them from the Egyptians failed, as selling the sacred idol would have been sacrilege for the Egyptians. Then the Greeks began to simply steal the divine animals, and soon they spread from Greece throughout Eurasia. However, the Greeks revered cats not for their mystical qualities, but for their hunting skills. In some images of the goddess of the hunt, Artemis, you can see a cat sitting at her feet, which speaks of the deification of her hunting talent by the Greeks.

With the advent of Christianity, the holiness of cats began to gradually, but unswervingly decrease, since they were the personification of paganism, and later became the attributes of witchcraft and devilry. Unfortunately, the ingratiating feline manners and glowing eyes did not help to refute these superstitions.

The bitter irony is awakened by the fact of the Middle Ages that the uncontrolled reproduction of rodents and the plague epidemics that claimed millions of lives were a consequence of the extermination of cats as accomplices of the devil, called to save Christians.

The situation in relation to the cat changed only after the French Revolution, when the furry animal even deserved to become a symbol of Protestants in England.

One thing is indisputable - at all times, regardless of whether revered or persecuted, cats have always been attributed to supernatural powers.

The question remains: why only their black representatives cause a superstitious fear of misfortune? This superstition is rooted in Celtic culture. The Celts had a belief that black cats were distinguished by a special fearlessness, especially in relation to snakes. It is a well-known habit of felines to bring hunting trophies into the house, even if they are still showing signs of life. Based on all of the above, one can understand why the Celts associated a black cat with misfortune: the snake in the house can hardly be called luck.

And yet, there are many signs in favor of cats as harbingers of good luck, and there are incomparably more such theses. Even if a black cat crossed the road from right to left, it will bring good luck. A black cat will bring misfortune only by turning to the side, crossing the road from left to right, or crouching halfway. All other meetings with cats, regardless of their color, bring only good luck.