The Halloween Effect
Black cats are an iconic symbol of Halloween. Viewed for centuries as the devoted companion to witches and warlocks, they developed an unfortunate reputation for bad luck that follows them to this day in western culture. But where did these superstitions come from? Follow us as we explore the ancient history of black cats, along with some insight from some California Psychics Pet Psychics, not only on the history and personality of black cats, but on pet behavior in general.
Ancient Egypt, the Black Cat, and the Height of Honor
In ancient Egypt, cats’ efficiency for dealing with excess rodents led to the front door being opened and cats being welcomed inside a home for the first time. And not just welcomed, but given garments of gold and jewels, even though the cat likely just fell down and/or began to walk backward the moment these heavy garments were placed upon them. The black cat was held in special esteem, considering it shared the same form (well, at least the same feline head) as the Egyptian Goddess, Bastet. The cat was highly respected, not only by being honored with mummification and buried along with their owner but also eliciting a law stating that if their death befell by the hand of a human, that crime was punishable by death, even if the cause of death was by accident.
But miles away from Egyptian soil, Christianity was watching how Egyptians worshiped the cat. As they did not worship the same god, Christians assumed the black cat must be a demon and so, “never let a black cat cross your path” was born into a superstition. Not only did the sight of a black cat doom you, but the act of crossing your path might create a tear in the earth that would sever your path to God. And the cat’s heroic Egyptian legacy began to take a turn for the worse.
Middle Ages and the Downfall of a Hero
Black cats would go on to be associated with witches and vampires. People in the Middle Ages saw them as the form a witch would take in order to roam the streets incognito while performing their sorcery (strike one). The black cat was also believed capable of transforming into human form to do the evil bidding of a witch or sorcerer (strike two). The Hebrews had their own mythologies as well, believing the black cat capable as the form a vampire would take to prey on newborn babies. Other cultures would hear such stories and suggest how a cat might “steal a baby’s breath,” as one explanation for why a baby might suddenly die in the night (strike three).
With so much animosity against the black cat, anyone caught with one became suspect of being evil by association and faced the punishment of hanging or being burned at the stake. More unfortunate, the task of ridding rodents that made the cat a hero for thousands of years, made them feared carriers after eating infected rats during the Bubonic Plague. And so, the front door was quickly closed, and in many ways still is.
Modern Superstition and the Need for Control
The idea that a black cat could be the root of all evil may sound pretty silly to the modern, educated human, but a good portion of us still avoid the 13th floor, blesses a person after a sneeze, avoids opening an umbrella inside, and casually passes the notion that a black cat would make a bad pet. We are still heavily influenced by superstition and the black cat is still waiting to regain its position as the capable, lovable, Egyptian superhero. What’s holding us back? The need for control.
Whenever something happens (particularly bad), in a bid to gain back control of the situation, we try to find causation for the moment. And this is how superstition is perpetuated in an educated, modern environment. Was your bad day caused by a black cat crossing your path, or because you did not give that cat a great big hug? For everyone’s sake, let’s say it was the lack of hugs and then we can all go on to live happier lives. Happy Halloween!
Here’s What Our Pet Psychics Have to Say
“It helps to understand your pet’s version of their issues: hurt feelings, misunderstandings, feeling left out, jealousy, physical discomfort. Once you know what they are thinking, you can make a smoother transition to a more harmonious home for all!” –Psychic Yemaya, ext. 5143
“All cats no matter the color are conduits to the world of Spirits and Fairies and so metaphysical workers of many backgrounds kept cats around to see the spirits in their homes. The popularity of black cats was connected to how lucky they were considered by people in Egypt (Bastet), Europe, and Japan.” –Psychic Lalita, ext. 5408
“Just as humans are each different no matter race, creed, or color, animals are the same, each one an individual shaped by how the world treats them. Black cats in many civilizations are actually thought to be GOOD luck! Here in this country we do have a heavy Hollywood/fantasy influence that has created a connection between black cats and evil. Silly ‘hoomans’.” –Psychic Yemaya, ext. 5143
“White cats were considered incredibly unlucky because they were associated with death. And believe it or not in magical communities Grey Cats were considered the luckiest. So, in hierarchy of lucky it was white: Bad, black: Good and Grey: Exceptional.” –Psychic Lalita, ext. 5408
“Pets may not understand your words, but they do react to energy. Sometimes they will tell me about someone or some energy that is causing them to feel uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s a message that affects you JUST as badly as it does them, and you need to look at that situation for your own health and well-being.” –Psychic Yemaya, ext. 5143
Interested in speaking with one of our Pet Psychics? Connect with one of them here.
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