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After all, some our favorite and most famous characters have been black cats, such as Felix the Cat, Snowball II of The Simpsons, and Sylvester the tuxedo kitty.
However, the world sentiment about black cats has been mixed. Fortunately for the black cat, there have also been good black cat superstitions where people admire or even worship the feline. The black house cat has been the subject of good and bad superstitions throughout history.
Prehistoric Fear of Cats Superstitions can be negative or positive, depending on the context. Many of them were much larger in size than they are now. Plus, they had voracious carnivorous appetites, even for humans.
Because humans were not always at the top of the food chain, fear of cats was necessary for survival. If someone came into contact with a huge South American Smilodon — the saber toothed tiger — it was his fear that could help him to fight or run away. Smilodon fatalis, saber-toothed tiger from the Upper Pleistocene of California.
Although nobody knows what color the Smilodon was, it was specifically black cats that became the primary target of negative superstitious beliefs. Some people assigned sinister qualities to black cats. Normans and Germanic people believed that, like the black raven, a black cat was a sign that a death would soon occur.
They thought that if a black cat crosses your path it was bad luck. The fears about black cats spread throughout Europe over time and, sadly, mass killings of black cats took place. Although certain areas of Europe, such as places in the UK, had some positive black cat superstitions, the black feline was often misunderstood and mistreated.
Witches and Black Cats The Middle Ages, also called the Dark Ages, in Europe, was a time of many superstitions that resulted from early spiritual beliefs and a lack of scientific understanding about nature. The persecution of people accused of being witches is a clear example.
People believed that witches and black cats worked together. Additionally, witches were able to turn themselves into black cats so that they could slink around in the shadows casting spells on unsuspecting people.
Many people believed the black cat superstition that the devil gave the cat to witches for assistance.
The mice spread a disease called the Bubonic Plague, and more than 25 million people died over the course of 5 years infoplease. Their persecution of witches and cats continued through the Salem witch trials and elsewhere of America.
Horrifically, they even killed black cats on Shrove Tuesdays, before Lent. As a result, the black cat superstition was cemented in American history, and many people used this to justify the mistreatment of black cats.
Eventually, the Halloween black cat was created to the detriment of real cats across the country. Both witches and black cats are commonly used today to enhance the fear factor of Halloween.
However, black cats were not always considered bad luck. In some places, they were even worshipped. The Egyptian cat was black. They even had a cat goddess, Bastet, who was part cat, part woman. She would grant good fortune for those who housed cats.
Cats in Egypt were seen as an embodiment of gods, and they were worshipped. Thus, it was illegal to kill a cat, even accidentally, and the penalty was death.FBI Homepage with links to news, services, stories and information of interest to the public.
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