Black cats are endearing creatures to some but spooky to others. The latter reaction is as a result of the superstitions that have evolved over centuries. Sometimes, people consider them as bearers of good omen. This dates back to 300 BC in ancient Egypt when they held black cats in high esteem. However, they were later considered carriers of bad omen.
Carole Potter, author of Knock on Wood and Other Superstitions, said black cats were once cherished by the Egyptians as a good luck symbol. However, toward the Middle Ages, they were considered a symbol of evil. Then some religious figures in the New Age associated the cats with witches and the devil.
According to a popular story, there was a time in the middle age when a man and a son had their path crossed by a black cat at night. In reaction, they threw rocks at it, injuring it. The cat fled into the home of an old woman. The next day, they saw the old woman limping and then assumed she must have been the cat. This led to the belief that the old woman must have transformed into a cat at night.
Some actually believe a black cat is a white cat that turned black from absorbing bad luck. The stories just get weirder!
Basically, black cats are mysterious creatures that are actually just cats that are black. However, as mysterious and cuddly as they are, they can’t seem to shed off all these superstitions. Some are easy to believe while others are just ludicrous. Really, bathing a cat causes it to rain? Whether you believe them or not, a lot of people actually do. From around the world, here are black cats superstitions just for you.
10 spooky superstitions about black cats from around the world
1. Cats can spread your secrets
Black cats are considered gossips who listen in on your secrets and share them. Who or what they share it to is another story. So, when in the Netherlands, try not to say your deepest, darkest secrets when a cat is around, cause it just might be listening.
2. It could cause road accidents
The USA is one of the countries where some believe that a cat crossing in front of your vehicle means you might have an accident. However, people in Japan believe that it means good luck. On the contrary, if it does cross a second time, then you need to say “Konnichi wa”, which means “hello”, to reverse the effect of bad luck.
3. Grooming means visitors are coming
In Japan, they believe that when a cat washes its face with its paws, it also means visitors are on their way. Then they start preparing to receive such visitors. This is also done in the US when a cat starts cleaning its whiskers. It’s not just grooming; it means that visitors are on their way. There are similar superstitions in other countries, too. Some people in the US expecting a visit from a member of the clergy if a cat starts cleaning its whiskers.
4. Vampires will rise
Thought it was all fiction? Well, it probably is. But in Romania and Hungary, people believe a cat jumping over a grave means that the corpse will become a vampire. Maybe Dracula had a cat jump over his grave! In the late 19th century, William Henderson recounted in his writings that, in England, a cat jumped over the coffin during a funeral, and no one was willing to move until the cat was killed.
5. They are demonic
People in some part of Europe and America believe that black cats contain demons.
6. Cats born in May are witches
The month of May is considered a time of ill-omen by some. Therefore, Western Europeans believe a cat born in May is a witch’s cat. They refer to it as badly behaved and troublesome.
7. Happy married life
Historically in the English Midlands, giving a black cat to a bride on her wedding day brings good luck. The Japanese also believe that, if a black cat sneezes around a bride, the marriage will be a good one and she will have a happy married life. Also, in Italy, hearing a cat sneeze means that money is coming your way. However, if it sneezes three times, then it means you will soon have a cold.
8. They bring good luck and prosperity
Chinese people believe that the cat’s eye can scare an evil spirit and can keep them away. Also, in France and Japan, they believe black cats bring wealth and good luck to owners who feed them well and treat them with the respect they deserve. In Scotland, the arrival of a strange black cat on your doorstep means prosperity.
9. Black cats can make it rain
If you’re feeling a bit hot and you want it to rain, then pour water on a cat. Doing this will make it want to revenge by making it rain. People in some parts of Indonesia believe that cats are associated with the weather.
10. Suitor magnet
Single ladies in Pennsylvania German consider a cat to be a suitor magnet. It will help attract many suitors once she “feeds the cat from her shoe.” We don’t know what you will do with your shoe after that, but you can use an old one because that shoe isn’t coming back on!