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The origin of the black cat crossing your path is a superstition that is a bit of mystery brought upon by prehistoric ancestors during B.C times. Superstition goes as far as to believe that the black cat is a demon in disguise of witches or humans. The black cat superstition emanated from prehistoric ancestors, around the time of the Middle Ages in Europe. Prehistoric men have a fear of cats because they were said to have cravings of large quantities of food, which included humans. Many people had lack of scientific knowledge about nature and believed that witches and cats worked together. Cats were thought to be supernatural servants to witches or to be witches themselves, because they are nocturnal and roam at night. There was also a belief that witches could turn themselves into cats, even after death. In the tales of folklore, if a witch becomes a witch then the cat no longer will reside in the home of the witch. In the time of the Medieval period, there were a large belief that cats of the color black, were affiliated with the evilness surrounding the grounds of Europe. Around the time of the Black Death, the black cat superstition developed a reputation of transformed version of suspected witches, which led many killings of these cats, including other cat breeds and colors.
The people of England believed that black cats carried demons. This helped lead to the origin of the black cat superstition that descended from prehistoric human ancestors during the early times. Because cats are very devious light-footed hunters it gave many people more dubious reasons of adding them into tales and legends of superstitions. Past tales have it that black cats, and cats in general, are creatures that are accessories to evil deeds that gives power to their masters whom are witches. The Middle Ages was a time of many superstitions that resulted from medieval time. Substandard cat superstitions took hold during the Bubonic Plague, in which people assigned sinister qualities to black cats. Early man had a big problem with cats, many of which were much larger in size than they are now. The fears about black cats spread throughout Europe over time and, dejectedly, mass killings of black cats took place. Before Lent, which last consecutively for forty days and forty nights, they killed black cats on Shrove Tuesdays, many of which were burned. The killings of these therapeutic animals led to an increasing amount of rats during the Dark Ages.
In early Egyptian times, cats were held to a high esteem and considered to be the rock stars of the animal world. To kill one was considered a capital crime, dating back as far in times as 3000 BC. The cat companions were adjudged culpable of witchery by interdependence, some of which were black. During the Salem witch hunts, in the 17th century, the belief of witches revamping themselves into black cats to snoop the streets became a notorious conviction in America. The mania of witches observing black magic had just hit Europe were often cared for and fed by poor lonely elderly ladies was later accused by witchery. An animal once looked endorsement became symbolism of evil omens. In some cultures, like Japan, the black cat is still lionized and a symbolized of good luck even today. The belief was taken up by a folklore involving a father and his son.
The story that help the increase of the black cat superstition was an adventure of a father and his son in 1560s who came across a black cat and had a bad experience. In Lincolnshire, a father and his son were frightened one moonless night when a small creature darted across their path into a crawl space. They saw an injured black cat scurry out and limp into the adjacent home of a woman suspected by the town of being a witch, while hurling stones into the opening. The next day, the father and son encountered the woman on the street. Her face was bruised and her arm was bandaged. After the attack, she now walks with a limp. From that day on, in Lincolnshire, all black cats were suspected of being witches in night disguise. The lore persisted and the notion of witches transforming themselves into black cats in order to prowl streets unobserved became a central belief in America during the Salem witch hunts. Though, an animal once looked on with approbation became a creature dreaded and despised (http://www.kinrossfolds.com). The ancient Egyptians revered all cats, black and otherwise, and it was there that the belief began that a black cat crossing your path brings good luck. Their positive reputation is recorded again much later, in the early seventeenth century in England, King Charles I kept and treasured a black cat as a pet. Upon its death, he is said to have lamented that his luck was gone. The supposed truth of the superstition was reinforced when he was arrested the very next day and charged with high treason. During the Middle Ages, people in many other parts of Europe held quite the opposite belief. They thought black cats were the “familiars,” or companions, of witches, or even witches themselves in disguise, and that a black cat crossing your path was an indication of bad luck a sign that the devil was watching you. This seems to have been the dominant belief held by the Pilgrims when they came to America, perhaps explaining the strong association between black cats and witchcraft that exists in the country to this day.
The superstition of the black cat fear spread throughout the Middle Ages to America through the English Puritans. The Puritans detested anything with the dealings of witches and the devil. In Colonial America, Scottish immigrants believed that a black cat entering a wake was bad luck and could indicate the death of a family member. In 16th-century Italy, people believed that if someone was sick, he or she would die if a black cat lay on his bed. A funeral procession with a black cat is believed to forecast the death of another family member. A cat’s ability to move silently and practically undetected put some people on edge, and their association with Egyptian religion added to the uneasiness in some Christian cultures. Because cats are sneaky, clever, agile hunters with a strong streak of independence, the assumption of this led to more reasons to add them into legend and wives tales.
Others believe that when a black cat crosses our path, it is an omen. The color black represents planet Saturn. This planet causes failures and delays in our tasks and ventures. When a black cat crosses the path, it means that the particular task at hand would not be fruitful or would get delayed. It is also in the means that planet Saturn is not working favorably for that particular person that comes across the path of a black cat. When one happens to experience such an omen, then he or she can sincerely offer prayers to God and light a lamp for Lord Ganesha to ward off the ill effects of planet Saturn.
Black cats were not only bad luck, but in other parts of the world it was considered good luck for various reasons. Black cats are often given as wedding presents to bring the newly wedded couple good luck, often in the form of ornamental black cats purchased as wedding gifts, rather than a living black cat. Superstitions from some English cultures, says that giving a bride a black cat on her wedding day, brings good luck in the marriage. It is also understood that black cats could draw wealthiness, prosperity, and good luck towards the lives of some. However, they are meant to frighten away evil spirits, demons, and stalkers. In Scotland, a strange black cat appearing on your porch is a good omen which means that prosperity is on the way. “‘Black cat, cross my path – good fortune bring to home and hearth. When I am away from home, bring me luck wherever I roam'” (Old English Charm). The meaning of the saying is interpreting that wherever he go may the good luck be with him and the bad flee away from his presence.
In the Netherlands, cats were not allowed in rooms where private family discussions were going on. The main fear of having a cat around is that family secrets would be out and expose many families. This rule was around because the Dutch believed that cats would definitely spread gossips around the town based on what they heard. Many believe it was the actions of witches that would start the rumors going after presenting themselves in the form of a cat. Another superstition in the Netherlands, is if a black cat crosses your path you would expect suffering.
Even in our modern world some people fear the black cat. However, more people now understand that black cat superstition has no basis. Sadly, they still have a higher risk of mistreatment, especially around Halloween. If anyone has owned a black cat, they know that the color of its fur doesn’t make a difference in the personality or fortune the cat brings. If they respect it and give it lots of love and affection, it will bring them many years of good luck and joy.
When cats were domesticated in the Middle East and Egypt thousands of years ago, the felines took on a very special meaning. The Egyptian cat was black. It provided a life-saving service and was revered for its ability to keep royal food stocks safe from rats, mice, and other critters. They even had a cat goddess, Bastet, who was part cat, part woman. She would grant good fortune for those who housed cats.
Black cats in Egypt were seen as an embodiment of gods, and they were worshipped. Though it was illegal to kill a cat, even accidentally, and the penalty was death. Egyptians’ love and respect for their black cats were so strong, that owners would often mummify their cats after death. The families would mourn their cats’ deaths as if a family member had died. And often, owners and their cats would be buried together.
While the black feline’s reputation in Western Europe is generally dark, there are some bright spots. For example, English and Irish sailors in the 17th through 20th centuries believed having a black cat aboard assured a safe journey. For this reason, black cats were often made ship’s cats—where they were also helpful in protecting the ship’s stores against vermin. Sailors’ families also embraced the black cat at home, believing its presence would assure their loved ones’ safe return from the sea. During the times of sailors and oceanic exploration, black cats were thought to be assurance for a safe return. The fact that they also were believed to bring wealth was a bonus! In fact, they were thought to be so lucky that prices to purchase black cats were so high, unfortunately most seafarers couldn’t afford them.
Black cats possesses strong powers of good. If you keep your black cats happy and safe, they will keep you happy and safe. If you don’t have a black cat in real life to guard your home, a black cat figurine facing north will keep bad energy and spirits away. And while we’re on the subject of gods and demons, in Norse mythology the goddess of love, fertility and beauty, Freya, rides on a chariot pulled by two black cats. To win favor with Freya, farmers would leave bowls of milk for her companions in their fields. Freya would then bless them with a good harvest.
In the south of France, black cats have been called “matagot” and are known as “magician cats” or even “money cats.” If shown the proper respect, like being given the first bite of dinner, having a nice bed to sleep in or having a home even after their owner’s death, the matagot will reward their person with wealth and good luck. This belief does have some ties to black cats and negative connotations of witchcraft, but it is choose to be look as it is those who do not treat their cats well get their comeuppance. English sailors could probably have used a matagot in their home to bring them some extra wealth. In old times, black cats were thought to be so lucky and such and assurance that sailors would return safely home from sea that many black cats cost so much as to be unaffordable for seafarers.
Feng Shui practitioners believe that black cats posses very strong powers of protection and good. In the home, a cat statue should be placed in the Southeast area of your home of office, facing north. We think it better to have a live black cat prowling your home guarding you though!
Many countries believe that black cats actually ward off evil spirits, not the falsely advertised opposite effect. Having a black cat is believed to be a foolproof source of success in the theater community. On opening night of a play, if a black cat wanders into your theater, you can be sure your play will run long and prosperously. All dark color felines are actually treated with the utmost respect. For those greeted at the theater entrances by these felines fortune smiles upon them. Any that are lucky enough to have the cat rub up against them are doubly fortunate.
The superstition of the black cat plays a more heavily role in the mind of humans when they are asleep. Ancestors used to believe that a dream involving a black cat is the precursor of disaster and death. To see a black cat in your sleep indicates that you are going through an experiment in the use of your physic abilities and the belief of your institution. If the cat is clawing, or attacking you in any form, then the dream is telling you that you need to go into acknowledgement of what your intuition is trying to tell you and the settings of it.

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