What is the origin of the superstition that links a black cat to a bad omen? – 10/31/2022

Pets are part of the family of many people, who welcome them with care and attention. Black cats, however, struggle to this day to find a home. According to data from the Brazilian NGO catlandwhich specializes in rescuing and adopting cats, they are the ones that take the longest to be chosen — of the 300 animals that are waiting for a home, for example, about 60% are the same color as darkest hair.

This is, in part, because there are superstitions surrounding its fur — and that surface, especially on dates like Friday the 13th and Halloween.

Some ancient legends believed in the false connection of black cats with darkness. The origin of the theory would have been in the Middle Ages. Cats, by their nocturnal habits, were associated with the devil – and if the coat was black, the supposed link was even more direct.

They did not even escape the Inquisition, the Catholic church’s campaign against alleged heresies and witchcraft. In the century 15Pope Innocent VIII he even included the cats on his list of persecuted by the Catholic court.

Other legends still associate these animals with witches. A famous story tells that one night in 1560, in Lincolnshire, England, a black cat was stoned and, in an attempt to escape, hid in a woman’s house. The next day, this housewife was seen with some bruises. From there, people began to believe that the woman transformed into the feline at night.

In the Middle Ages, black cats were persecuted by the Inquisition - iStock - iStock

In the Middle Ages, black cats were persecuted by the Inquisition

Image: iStock

For Esau Clemer, responsible for the Sherpaman and Pantera black cats, these beliefs are just old-fashioned thoughts.

I find it extremely archaic and tacky. We live in a society where evil is installed under our eyes and we pretend to be blind”

The owner of little Luna, Isabela Almeida, thinks the superstitions and theories created are ‘enormous injustice’. In addition, she says that her black cat brought luck and protection to her life.

No animals bring bad luck, they are not to blame for the things people make up. In my experience, they bring luck, yes, because they protect us, give us love and are very companions”

The importance of black cats and protection for these animals

The aversion to black cats contrasts with other times when they were considered sacred. In Ancient Egypt, cats represented the guardians of the world of the dead and were worshiped and protected. In addition, the Egyptians believed that cats, in general, were magical and brought good luck.

Cat statue, where the mummy of the animal would be kept, dated 332-30 BC - Sepia Times/Sepia Times/Universal Images Gro - Sepia Times/Sepia Times/Universal Images Gro

Cat statue, where the mummy of the animal would be kept, dated 332-30 BC

Image: Sepia Times/Sepia Times/Universal Images Gro

Despite this, superstitions against these animals persist to the present day. According to the veterinary doctor specializing in animal behavior Juliana Germano, black cats not only do no harm, but also bring benefits, like other pets.

They are not bad luck, on the contrary, they are animals that are good for human beings, especially for emotional health”

However, as the tradition of relating cats to bad omens still remains, Juliana points out that if you have or want to have a black cat, it is important to take some special care, especially during Friday the 13th and Halloween, such as keeping the cat inside home.

“There are malicious people who can mistreat these animals, whether out of prejudice or for other reasons. There is also a higher rate of trampling, poisoning and mistreatment on these dates, which makes the streets dangerous for dark-coated cats.”, it says.

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