I originally wrote this blog about trans athletes, and then I realized that the research I had done was just not enough to represent an entire community to my entire audience. I changed my topic to something more lighthearted and fun-ish: black cats and superstitions. Black cats are known to be unlucky in most of the world. There are many things around the world that are seen as bad luck however black cats might be the most well-known. For thousands of years, we have associated black cats with witches, death, and all things evil. This being said, many populations like Egypt and Greece worshippedblack cats before the middle ages. Killing one of these sacred animals had harsh punishments. So what has changed in all these years? Why were cats the symbol of goddesses and then they turned into a Halloween nightmare? Is the belief that black cats are bad luck true, or is it an ignorant superstition?
Our furry little friends were actually worshiped as goddesses in Ancient Egypt. You might know Bastet. She was the goddess of fertility, protection, cats, children, and home. She is known for protecting homes from evil and disease. Cats were worshipped and respected because they kept homes and grains rat-free, helping the owners a tremendous deal. They were also seen as the physical form of Bastet. Killing one of these cuties could cost you your life.
As half of the population and most other things in history, the church labeled cats as evil. In 1233 AD, black cats were declared as the embodiment of the devil. They were hunted down and burned alive by Christians. By the 14th century cats almost became extinct because of this obsession of humanity, making animals suffer (some things never change). Since the cat population was so low, rodents grew in numbers and spread one of the most horrific diseases humans have encountered… Black Death. The plague killed 25 million, one-third of Europe. Black cats were believed to assist witches in their evil-doings. Black cats were also believed to be witches in disguise and it was believed that witches could shapeshift nine times, resulting in the cats have nine lives belief. In case you didn’t know witchcraft was associated with the devil, evilness, and killing babies for food (a bit too specific?) and it was punished by torturing and horrible deaths. Just like thousands of women, black cats were tortured and killed during these times as well.
Over time, we can say that these beliefs have faded, but when people encounter black cats, they can still find it to be bad luck and freak out. These poor animals are still less likely to be adopted than others and most centers don’t give black cats out during October. Why you may ask. Well, because humans sometimes adopt these cats for Halloween and then use them as a prop and give them back or torture these animals. All of this is just a big superstition. I have always been drawn to black cats. I had a black cat with one of her eyes missing and her name was Tek Göz. She was the cutest little thing; she followed me to kindergarten and to the park as a kid. I also have a black little kitten right now. Its name is Chat Noir. Chat Noir is the cutest little thing ever, and he has a big appetite. So both cats are just like all my other cats. Black cats are cute little fluff balls like all other cats and I think this superstition should be ended once and for all especially since it affects the lives of these animals. There are many cultures in the world that believe black cats are good luck as well however in most western countries they are believed to be bad luck and I think it is time to retire this idea.