Famous Friday: The Black Cat

by Paws on Your Heart on October 4, 2013

halloween pumpkin and black catIt’s October, and you know what that means… Halloween is just around the corner. To do something fun for this upcoming holiday, we decided to do a whole month of Famous Fridays with the theme of spooky cats in mind.

For the first post, we thought we’d commemorate the ever famous black cat. There are many superstitions surrounding the black cat, so we wanted to feature the origins and misconceptions surrounding black cats, in hopes to clear up their “spooky” reputation.

Black cats have been mentioned in the history books, dating as far back at 3,000 BC in ancient Egypt. Egyptians loved and honoured cats, especially black cats, which means that all cats were given a positive reputation in Egypt. In fact, one of the most revered gods in Egypt, Bastet, actually chose to live in the form of a black cat. Bastet was known to be a bringer or good fortune, which means that black cats would have been believed to bring good fortune too.

For many years after this positive association, black cats were always considered to be bringers of fortune and good luck… that is, until the early pilgrims began believing in the dark forces of witchcraft. These pilgrims were very religious, and their strong beliefs led them to be sceptic of that anything dark or black in colour. Unfortunately, this meant bad news for our black furred feline friends… and they were soon believed to be associated with witches.

This black cat scare across England and America led to the destruction of many black cats, and many innocent human beings. Strangely enough, the lack of cats throughout England was a key cause of the spread of the Black Plague. The city became over-run with rodents carrying the disease, and there were not enough cats to control the population. This was an unfortunate result of the destruction of the cats, though perhaps it provides a lesson about how important cats can be.

Ever since the Middle Ages, black cats have been a key component in superstitions in the Western World. Unfortunately, the belief in these superstitions today has led many black cats to become the victims of ceremonies and “pranks” during the Halloween season. Please be cautious and protective of your cat, and any black cat you know to live in your neighbourhood during this season. Keep your cat inside during this time, and let him or her enjoy the holiday in the safety of your own home.

If you’d like to know more about why the black cat is associated with the Halloween season, be sure to check out our article Black Cats: How Did These Felines Become Associated With Halloween.

Until next week… when our next Spooky cat will be revealed…

 

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