5 Strangest Superstitions About Black Cats From Around the World
How exactly did black cats get the reputation of being evil or sinister around the world? Well, in the year 1233, the Pope made an official announcement saying that the poor creatures were actually the incarnation of the Devil. Black cats were punished and killed by Christians in villages all around Europe, and by the 1300s, some areas in Europe were completely free of black cats, to the point of them being almost extinct. So, some believe that the legend began because of the Catholic Church and it's actually how most of us started to believe in the superstition that a black cat brings bad luck and misfortune. However, the strange thing is that many years before that, in Greece and ancient Egypt, these furry creatures were considered to be sacred beings and positive symbols of good luck.
Sign of Good Luck?
Black cats are usually associated with bad omens, especially when they cross your path, but did you know that some cultures still consider them to be a sign of good luck? They might actually bring you good luck, but only if you spot a white hair on a black cat. In France, people believe that if you look through a black cat's fur and find just one white hair, your luck will improve a lot.
Some countries in Africa and Asia have a legend which states that certain unclean and malicious spirits, called the "jinn," or genie, can possess living beings, and the beings they take control of most often are black cats. The legend says that the black color focuses evil energies a lot easier than other colors and that cats can see the genies easily while regular people can't. Many people believe that cats have the ability to see past our perception, and believe they can spot when certain spirits like ghosts and genies enter your home. In ancient Persia however, black kitties were considered to be an embodiment of one's higher self and disrespecting them or hurting them in any way was harmful not only to them but to you.
Back in the middle ages, witches were a very popular and serious issue because many women lost their lives. People believed that witches were flying around Britain and causing some extremely evil things, and when it comes to black cats, the common belief was that people who kept them as pets were actually channeling demonic energy and giving evil powers to the witches. If you were busted for keeping a black cat as your pet, people believed you were using the cat to communicate with demons and use black magic. In fact, the black cats were named "familiars," and quite often, the legend said that witches would give their soul to their familiar in exchange for strong magic powers.
While it's true that sailors have a lot of superstitions, here is one legend you probably didn't know. In some cultures, people thought that bringing a black cat onto a ship was actually meant to bring extremely good luck at sea and bring safe travels without storms and accidents. However, there was one catch, if the cat was to fall off the ship and into the sea, the crew and the entire ship would have horrible luck. Also, pirates thought black cats would bring them bad luck but only in case they got onto a ship and then returned to the shore before the ship would set sail.