Black cats have enchanted and frightened the masses of civilization for many millenniums. Archaeological evidence from Israel, Turkey and Syria suggests that man’s relationship with the cat first began more than 10,000 years ago.
Many believe it was the ancient Egyptians who were the first to truly domesticate the African wildcat over 3500 years ago. As ancient Egypt became more and more agrarian the need to protect the stores of crops and grains from mice, rodents and snakes grew.
Local wild cats often prowled around the cities borders and would feast upon the numerous rodents and trash found within these areas. Local residents seeking pest control would leave small plates of food out to entice the wildcats into their space and homes. Soon a symbiotic relationship between man and the cat was formed.
By 1500 B.C. all cats in Egypt were considered sacred. It was believed that if a black cat were to cross your path, luck would follow. The Egyptians had many laws protecting cats from injury or death. If one killed a cat intentionally or unintentionally it was punishable by death.
The life of a cat was considered more important than that of a human and therefore cats would be rescued from disaster first. When a cat died the entire family would mourn its death and its body would be mummified, wrapped in linen and placed in a sarcophagus, where it would be later buried in a cat cemetery.
One of the most famous Egyptian goddesses is Bastet; she has the body of a woman and the head of a domesticated cat. In this incarnation she is the goddess of the home, pregnant women, fires and cats. She represents the attributes of a domesticated cat for she is both docile and aggressive.
The black cat’s negative association with witches and warlocks began in Europe during the Middle-Ages. At this time wide spread hysteria of the occult consumed the streets of Europe. Many believed that witches and warlocks could transform themselves into cats and roam through the city undetected to cast “evil” spells on innocent victims.
Because of this believe, cats, especially the black ones, were now seen as consorts of the devil, who possessed the power of black magic. For this reason hundreds of thousands of cats were killed and the black cat was hunted close to extinction. Europe’s beliefs about cats traveled with the Pilgrim to America and culminating in the infamous Salem witch trials.
Native Americans throughout time have honored animals both big and small. It is said, when an animal comes to you in the physical or spiritual realm, via a dream or vision, it has been sent by the Great Spirit with a lesson. One must study the animal to reveal its teachings or needed attribute.
As such the Cat Spirit brings forth intuition, autonomy, and grants one access to the supernatural. Cats can see in the dark and are very magnetic and sensual. Cat spirit can help one to develop intuition, to remain confident in moments of darkness and to overcome challenges with agility.
Black cats and cats in general bring with them an air of mystery and intrigue. Below are some of the most popular superstitions.
If on a black cat you find the one pure white hair and yank it out without being clawed then luck and love will be found.
The wives of Yorkshire fisherman keep black cats as house pets to ensure their husbands safe return from the sea.
If a black cat is seen in the audience on the opening night of a play then success will follow.
Cursed are You
One should never turn his back on a black cat, for if you do, you shall be cursed.
Never walk under a ladder that a black cat has walked under or you’ll have twice the amount of bad luck.
Avoid meeting a black cat at midnight for it is the Devil in disguise.
Today modern day cats have lost their sacred reverence as gods and are no longer seen as evil fiends. But cats still have a special place in the hearts of people around the world and especially here in USA, were they are America’s most popular pet. Meow!