Are black cats lucky or unlucky? This is a question that has
perplexed many people who study the cultures and folklore superstitions
of differing traditions.
In Britain and Ireland the answer is a
definite yes that they are lucky. They are seen as an extremely lucky omen and are
welcomed as a sign of good luck to come.
In other countries and cultures the opposite belief is held and the black cat can be seen as incredibly unlucky.
In ancient times cats were animals to be revered and in Ancient Egypt
the humble cat was worshipped as a sacred animal. The Romans also held
the cat in high regard and introduced cats as pets throughout Europe.
as Christianity spread throughout Europe and pagans, wise women and
adherents to other belief systems were persecuted; the black cat also
saw a downturn in its luck.
Vulnerable women became the easy
target for religious fanatics who wanted a scapegoat to explain the woes
of the world. During the Middle Ages they were accused of witchcraft
and were the victims of torture, hanging, burning at the stake and
These same women often kept cats as companions. Cats,
and in particularly black ones, (deemed the colour of evil) were seen as
"Witch's Familiars" or partners in crime to the accused Witch, and the
poor animal suffered similar fates to those of their mistresses. In
Witch trials, ownership of a cat was taken as evidence of witchcraft and
was all the proof needed to condemn both the woman and the cat to a
But the humble cat redeemed itself as controller of
vermin during the Great Plague that swept throughout Europe. The cat,
and in particular black ones, came to be seen as a very lucky omen.
luck superstitions surrounding the black cat sprung up. To have one as a
ship's cat ensured the safety of the sailors on board. Similarly, wives
of fishermen who kept cats that were black were assured the safe return
of their husbands, despite often perilous sea conditions. Newly weds
were often given a black cat to bring them luck for their future
Today the symbol of a black cat is often connected with
the feast of Halloween and to the Wicca religion and is considered
extremely good luck to have one cross your path.
All black cats are lucky but the luckiest type is said to be female, completely jet black with black whiskers and green eyes. If you come across a cat such as this, repeat this rhyme and good luck is sure to come your way.
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