Demystifying The Superstitions About Black Cats

20181026_221700-e1540834941727.jpg

Halloween is only two days away, so be prepared for ghosts, goblins, witches and black cats roaming the streets like zombies who want candy instead of flesh.

I once dressed as a black cat for Halloween, but I never thought to ask why? How did black cats become so closely associated with Halloween? I’ve recently begun to wonder this, and what better a day to blog about it than on National Cat day!

Black Cat Superstition

Cats have always been shrouded in superstition, black cats in particular.  Different cultures had different folklore around the animal. Egyptians worshiped black cats, Scots thought they signified prosperity, but the Puritans thought black cats were evil, a bad omen. They believed if a black cat crossed your path it meant misfortune and death were to come to you.

This belief stems back to the Spanish Inquisition in the fifteenth century, when Pope Innocent VIII declared cats were of the devil, and ordered them to be burned. This caused an outbreak of rats, which only exacerbated the black plague.

The Puritans also practiced the killing of black cats, seeing them as familiars of witches, meaning they were demons in the form of black cats, who assisted witches.

In Netflix’s new series The Chilling Adventure of Sabrina, they show Sabrina meeting her familiar, Salem, for the first time. You see his original form just prior to his transformation into a cat. Throughout the series he helps and protects her.

Image result for chilling adventures of sabrina salem goblinJust where did this idea come from? Some say it’s because stray black cats were often taken in by lonely old ladies who were thought to be witches (funny how far back the idea of “crazy cat lady” goes.)

There’s also an old British story linking cats and witches. It goes like this:

A boy and his father were walking together in the night when they were startled by a black cat running across their path. The father kicked the cat, and it fled to the house of an old lady, who was seen limping the next day. This made them suspect that the old woman had transformed into the cat, making her a witch.

Black Cats and Halloween

Many do not know much about Halloweens Celtic roots. The Celts held a festival every year called Samhain, which began on the 31st of October. It marked the end of the harvest season, and the beginning of winter.

Samhain was also seen as a time when spirits, or fairies, could easily cross the boundary between this world, and the Otherworld.

In Celtic mythology, there was a fairy creature called the Cat Sith. It took the form of large black cat with white spots on its stomach. It was believed that this creature could steal your soul.

However, on Samhain they believed it would bless anyone who left milk for it outside their house. If someone did not do this, their cows would be cursed.

Black Cat Adoption Around Halloween

Negative superstitions still persist around black cats unfortunately. Legend has it that black cats are victims of satanic sacrifices around this time of the year. Many pet shelters take precautions around black cat adoptions, some shelters even banning it. There is inconclusive evidence that black cats are the targets to Satanic cults, according to Scopes.

Whether this is true or not, there are certainly concerns pertaining to all pet cats or dogs around Halloween. Many animals have anxiety which can be triggered by the commotion trick-or-treaters coming and going, banging on the door and yelling. There is also greater chance for them to escape, with the door being opened so frequently.

Cats are notorious for climbing on things, and knocking things over, so be sure to take caution when decorating. If you have a cat it’s for the best to avoid breakable decorations, and candles.

Image result for cartoon cat gif

Hope every has a spooky Halloween!!!

10 Reasons Why Cats Are Way More Talented Than Humans

 

Cats are the most common house pet in North America. You may not have known this, but the cat brain has 90% similarity to the human brain, and yet cats are far more talented. Here are some cool things cats can do that humans cannot:

  1. Cats almost always land on their feet. This is due to the cat’s ability to orient itself mid-fall, allowing it to correct its positioning, so it doesn’t land on its back. Cats can do this because of the vestibular apparatus inside the ear, which lets the cat know of its orientation in space. There have been cats that have fallen 32 stories and lived to tell the tale!
  2. They can find their way home. Cats have an innate ability to find their way home. This is referred to as the homing instinct, or Psi travelling. Experts believe cats have cells in their brains that act as compasses. Another theory is they use the angle of the sun, and Earth’s magnetic field to navigate their way back home.
  3. They can jump up to five times their height. I can probably only jump about a foot in the air, so the average cat is way more talented than me in this aspect.
  4. Earthquake detection. Due to their sensitivity to vibrations, cats can detect an earthquake tremor 10 to 15 minutes before a human can.
  5. Their kidneys can filter salt out of water. This means that a cat can safely drink sea water. Basically, if you and your cat were trapped on a raft in the middle of the ocean with no water, the cat would probably outlive you, then they’d probably eat you.
  6. They have excellent hearing. A cat can hear frequencies up to 2 octaves higher than a human can. This is even better than a dogs hearing.
  7. They can squeeze through tight spaces. There may be lots of skinny people who can fit in small spaces, but we are restricted by our collar bones in many cases. Cats don’t have collar bones, so they can squeeze through anything their head can fit through.
  8. They can run fast. Cats are capable of running up to 31 MPH over a short distance. The world record for a human is about 28 MPH.
  9. Night vision. Since cats are highly active at dawn and dusk, they need to have good night vision. Since they have six to eight times more rod cells in their eye than humans have, they are more sensitive to low light. They are also able to sense motion in the dark better than us, which is why they make such good predators.
  10. Fertility. A cat can generally have a litter of one to eight kittens. In seven years, a pair of cats could 420,000 kittens. Essentially, cats could take over the world if they really wanted to.

 

Hope I didn’t make you feel too bad about yourself for not being as awesome as any old cat is. Now it makes sense why Egyptians used to worship cats!