Wander Lord

Interesting on art, nature, people, history

Cats and superstitions

Cats and superstitions

Cats and superstitions


All cats are excellent hunters. They have acute senses and sharp teeth and claws. Even most domestic cats could survive in the wild by catching mice, small birds, insects, and other creatures. The mirrorlike layer inside the eye reflects the light at the back of the eye. This is why a cat’s eyes shine in the dark.
Kittens spend hours chasing their tails, springing on each other, and having mock fights. Their play helps them develop hunting skills, quick reactions.
Cats were probably first domesticated in ancient Egypt about 5,000 years ago. Ancient Egyptians kept domestic cats to guard grain stores. Cats became so celebrated that some were worshiped as gods, and statues were made. The Egyptians mummified large numbers of them and placed them in tombs so they could continue to serve their owners in their afterlife.

Cats are famous for their cleanliness. Every day they spend at least an hour washing their fur with saliva and licking it with their rough-surfaced tongues. This makes the fur smooth and glossy. It also helps keep body heat in, removes pests, and stimulates the skin’s blood flow.
For thousands of years, black cats have been associated with magic and witchcraft. They are still believed by some people to bring both good and bad luck.
The Japanese were afraid of cats and respected them. On the one hand, these animals were considered to be representatives of dark forces, on the other, they patronized commerce. Japanese emperors often had cats and they enjoyed all the privileges of real courtiers.
With the increasing influence of Christianity in Europe, the cat was declared a devil’s offspring. Cats, especially black, began to be caught in all countries of Europe and to be burnt at the stake. Radical measures led to a sharp decrease in the cat population in Europe. Rats and mice literally flooded the European countries, and brought a terrible “black death”. In the first half of the fourteenth century, three quarters of the population of Europe died from the plague epidemic, which became a kind of payment to torturers and executioners of cats.
In the X-XI centuries, black cats were especially popular among English seamen. They were the guarantee that sailing would be safe. If the ship was in distress, first of all they saved the cats.
Japanese sailors also took cats, but only red and only as a victim. If the storm began, it was necessary to throw the red cat overboard to get indulgence in the raging elements. But the sailors of other countries considered it was a bad omen to see a cat that fell overboard. It was believed that this would cause a terrible storm. And even if the ship survived, it would be cursed for 9 years.
Cats successfully treat stresses, diseases of the nervous system and diseases of internal organs. They have the opportunity (and most importantly – the desire) to relieve you of osteochondrosis, arthrosis, radiculitis, hypertension, bronchitis, pneumonia, stomach ulcers, gastritis and many other diseases.

Cats and superstitions. Cats in paintings

Cats and superstitions

Anthropologists believe that hostility to black was born at a time when prehistoric man realized: in the afternoon the danger is clearly visible, he has the opportunity to defend himself, and during the night the enemy is not seen, but in the darkness is better to wait in the shelter.
The most famous folk omens believe that if a black cat runs across your path, it’s a sign of trouble. It is considered especially bad omen, if the cat will run to you “bosom” – that is, toward the fasteners on your clothes. However, disaster can be avoided if to spit three times over your left shoulder, and then continue the journey. And the best thing is simply to wait until on the road will walk someone else.
The emergence of another black cat in the house – harbinger of trouble. In Russia believed that if a person in the night dream before Christmas sees a black cat, he will get sick this year. In France, Bulgaria and England believed that to receive a gift of a black cat – a sign of special respect.
A small provincial town in the suburbs of London is shocked by the mysterious murders. The detective from Scotland Yard – Corley leading crime investigation concluded that the culprit of the deaths could not be a man … All the murders are united by one thing – traces of cat paws and cuts from claws on the body! Nobody realizes that the cat belongs to the old professor, engaged in the study of the other world …
The connection of cats and witchcraft includes fortune-telling rituals; Divination by killing cats was used in Scotland. Both witches and cats were believed to have the power to control or predict the weather. When a cat washed its face, rain was supposed to follow; if it walked away from the fire, a storm was brewing. Caution and even discomfort was the typical reaction to cats, hence the common Irish greeting, “God bless all here except the cat.”

Monuments to cats

Andrei Sikorsky. Cats of famous artists