Black cats

Published 6:54 pm Friday, October 30, 2009

With Halloween just around the corner, I’m reminded of the myths and superstitions involving cats—especially black cats.

The ancient Egyptians worshiped cats, believing that they protected the harvest, and that they were the guardians of the human spirit on its journey into the new world.

The chief Goddess Bastet is often depicted as a black cat, standing proud and regal.

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But in the 15th Century, as Christianity spread around the world, cats fell out of favor. They were called the familiar of witches and warlocks. They were blamed for every plague and sorrow that befell humanity.

In art and literature, black cats were the companions of evil and were sometimes believed to be Lucifer himself, cloaked in ebony fur!

In the United States, it is bad luck if a cat crosses your path, but in Japan and the United Kingdom, it is a good thing! In Germany, it’s OK if they cross left to right, but if they walk the other way—watch out!

But surely the scariest comes from legends all over the world, and says that people who have harmed a black cat will find the same damage upon their own body come the next morning.

So, be forewarned! All who might cause harm to any cat, or any animal on or around Halloween—there are Humane Society heroes everywhere!

Look out! Some of them may not be in human form!

Sally MillerBainbridge, Ga.