Let's start from the early Egyptian times (3000 BC). In those times cats (including black coloured ones) were the most venerated of the animal world, considered like gods. Kill one was a capital crime ! But then the middle-ages in Europe came, and black cats began to be associated with witches and evil spirits. In fact, black magic had just hit Europe and alley cats were often cared for and fed by poor lonely old ladies, later accused of witchcraft. Their cat companions, some of which were black ones, were condemned as well. This belief became an actual fact when a folklore involving a father and son in Lincolnshire in the 1560′s started making the rounds. The pair were said to have been traveling one moonless night when a black cat crossed their path. the two began throwing rocks at the furry feline until the helpless injured creature hid into a woman’s house, at the time was suspected of being a witch. The next day, the father and son came across the same woman and noticed she was limping, believing that to be more than just a coincidence. From that day on in Lincolnshire, it was thought that witches could turn into black cats at night.
The belief of witches transforming themselves into black cats in order to prowl streets unobserved became a central belief in America during the Salem witch hunts. Even today is not unusual to look around houses on Halloween and see lots of wild fiery eyes. Thus, an animal once looked on with adoration became a symbol of evil omens all around the world.
But the black cat is still revered as a symbol of good luck even today. The Scottish, to mention some of these cultures, believe that a strange black cat’s arrival to a house means prosperity, while in the English Midlands, a black cat as a wedding present is thought to bring good luck to the bride! Also Pirates of the 19th century believed a black cat it’s a sign of bad luck if it walks towards you, but this can become a good luck sign if it walks away from you...well, in my opinion, black cats are wonderful !
Hope you enjoyed the first of the new "Bad Luck Files". If you want me to write about a particular unlucky or lucky sign in my next article, leave a comment below :)