Friday 13th, or ‘Black Friday’ is known as one of the unluckiest days of the year. Superstition has plagued society through the ages with traces of these beliefs carrying into modern day culture leaving our beloved black cats the misunderstood victims. According to the RSPCA black cats are substantially less likely to be adopted, with numbers on the rise in shelters. But where have these superstitions come from and are they really still making an impact on modern society? We will let you decide.
Superstitions Through the Ages
But where did it all begin? For centuries black cats have been under scrutiny with conflicting myths through history and have been traced back as far as the Middle Ages where they were linked to acts of witchcraft throughout Europe. According to history, Normans and Germanic cultures believed that along with sighting a black raven, a black cat crossing your path was an indicated that death was imminent. So began the myth that black cats crossing your path was bad luck.
Along with simply seeing a black cat, it was also believed that witches and black cats shared a dark relationship where the cat was responsible for undertaking evil deeds on behalf of their witches or were in fact the witches themselves in disguise. These beliefs resulted in countless innocent women and cats being unfairly persecuted, often with death.
Naturally we can look back on these instances and see them logically for what they are: mere silly superstitions. Sadly black cats according to the RSPCA are still considered worldwide to be the least popular choice when it comes to adoption. Let’s change this – let’s focus on the positives that these beautiful furry felines have to offer!
Black Cats Considered as Good Luck
It hasn’t always been doom and gloom for our dark furry friends! In some parts of the world they were not only considered good luck – but revered among the community and even worshiped.
While Europe in the Middle Ages was victimizing black cats, during the time of feline domestication, the Egyptians were worshiping them. They believed that black cats would grant good fortune and naturally were revered for their ability to reduce vermin numbers in their community and in doing so, protect their food stores. To pay tribute to their feline friends, they even had a cat goddess called Bastet who was part cat and part woman who’s pleasure it was to grant good fortune to those in the community who offered cats refuge in their homes.
Now these are beliefs we are happy to get behind! In fact, the Egyptians were in such awe of black cats that they demonstrated their respects these good luck symbols by mummifying them after death and undergo a period of mourning, similar to how they would if a family member has passed.
Superstitions have no basis in modern society but we can all attest to the fact that today, cats of all colours still seem to see themselves as gods. Thankfully you will find that like in Egyptian culture, they have become more like part of our family and we love them for it. But why are black cats still finding themselves the less adoptable choice? Is the superstitious fear of black cats still gripping our society? Or is it just that they don’t photograph as well in our selfies? Hopefully our culture isn’t that shallow.
For those of you who have been lucky enough to own a black cat, you know for yourself that the colour of your furry friend doesn’t impact their personality or bring bad luck. If you are blessed enough to share your home with a feline companion of any colour, you can already consider yourself lucky. Beauty is more than fur-deep.
TOP 5 REASONS TO ADOPT A BLACK CAT:
BONUS: Any cat will bring you nothing but happiness, hours of entertainment, soothing cuddles and love – regardless of their fur colour!
Take home note: “If a black cat crosses your path, it is probably going somewhere”.
– Groucho Marx