Friday 13th: Black Cat Theories

There’s some sort of connection between Friday the 13th and black cats, making the more superstitious of you a bit wary on this day. Perhaps the most popular theory is from the Middle Ages, where people associated black cats with witches. Some even thought that black cats were witches in disguise, giving way to the superstition that you don’t let a cat cross your path.

But that’s not the only superstition. Many people from around the world have different theories of black cats, so why do they get so much hassle? Studies have shown that 70% of cats that are yet to be adopted are black or black and white, and lots of people just hate cats in general (shame on you if you’re one of these people). 

Research has shown that cats reduce anxiety and stress amongst people, leading to less heart attack deaths. Also, those who have been exposed to cats regularly before the age of 1 tend to have less allergies. So if cats are so good for you, why do so many people have a bad opinion of them, and why black cats in particular? Let’s take a look at some theories and superstitions of black cats:

The Weather

Black cat weather superstition

If a black cat scratches its ear, it’s going to rain. If it runs around wildly, it’s going to be windy. If it has its back to the fire, there’s a storm coming. I’m not sure how much cats can predict or dictate the weather, but I’m definitely going to look out for this one when I get home tonight.

Good Luck

Black cat means good luck

Surprisingly, not all black cat superstition are bad luck. If a black cat is in the audience of a play, it’s going to be a good performance; if a cat sneezes, everyone who hears it will have good luck; they are seen as symbols of good luck in the UK & Japan (apparently - I always feel lucky when I see cats of any kind); if a cat walks past you from left to right in Germany, you will have good luck (the belief is in Germany - you don’t have to go to Germany for a black cat to cross your path - don’t waste your money; it didn’t work for me).

Bad Luck (obviously)

black cat means bad luck

In Germany, if a cat walks past from right to left, you’ll have bad luck (funnily enough); black cats found lurking around coal mines are symbols of bad luck; if you step on a black cat’s tail, you will not find a husband for 12 months (only applies to unmarried women in France, fortunately for us here in the UK); if a cat crosses your path in the majority of modern, western society, it is accepted as bad luck; this last one isn’t specific to black cats, but if a cat is born in May, apparently they bring snakes into your home, so be sure to check your cats birthday before you decide to adopt one. 

Status

black cat means prosperity theory

If a black cat is in your home, it is a sign that you are living in prosperity (I imagine you probably left the caviar on the bench again and the cat smelled it so came in) and if a lady has many cats, it’s a sign that she has many suitors (not a sign that they just love cats a tad too much... definitely not that).

Magic

Black cat can heal stye in eye

There’s more than one association with witches. Celtic mythology notes a creature who was either a fairy or a witch called Cat Sith, who lives in the Scottish highland and can turn into a cat nine times. Scary.

Black cats can also heal people, apparently. Stroking a black cat’s tail is supposed to cure a stye on your eye. I would definitely consult a doctor first, though. You might approach the wrong cat and end up hurting your other eye.

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