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Cat Week: Black Cat Superstitions

***Welcome to ‘Cat Week: Like Shark Week But Fluffier’, a week of all things CAT.***

A lot of people fear black cats for a whole host of reasons. Personally I once owned a black cat. Her name was Concorde and her death was tragic and horrible and messy and involved her being stuck in a car engine…I’m 100% sure this had nothing to do with her fur color.

I took this picture of Lilith, a black cat fou...
Not my cat…

Moving on.

In the name of Halloween, we here at TKW, bring you a host of black cat superstitions from around the world!

  • If a black cat crosses your path, it’s said to be bad luck. (US, Europe)
  • Whereas in Ireland, if a black cat crosses your path, it’s said that you will die in some sort of epidemic.
  • In Japan, if a black cat crosses your path, it’s said to be good luck.
  • It’s also said in Japan, if a single woman owns a black cat, she will have many suitors.
  • A black cat on the porch is said to bring prosperity in Italy.
  • If a black cat looks out the window or washes its ears, it’s said that rain is coming. (that explains all the rain in Ireland, my cat was constantly looking out the window)
  • If a cat hears gossip, it’ll spread it around the town. In the Netherlands, cats aren’t allowed in rooms where private conversations are happening for this very reason.
  • To undo bad luck brought on by a black cat, you must walk in a circle, then walk backwards over the spot where the black cat sighting occurred and count to 13.
  • In Germany, it’s believed that if a black cat crosses your path right to left, it’s a bad omen. But left to right, you’re in for some good luck.
  • Meanwhile, back in Italy, if a black cat lies on a sick person’s bed, that person is soon to die.
  • A black cat in China signals famine and poverty.
English: A Black cat Italiano: Un gatto nero D...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s interesting to note that 32% of all households in the US (in 2007) had a cat and a majority of cat owners had two cats. And no, I have no idea what color their cats were.

It’s also interesting to be aware that cats (of all colors) can scientifically make you crazy with a parasitic microbe known as Toxoplasma gondii.

‘Infection by a Toxoplasma gondii could make some individuals more prone to some forms of neuroticism and could lead to differences among cultures if enough people are infected’ – Kevin Lafferty, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. (source)

This Halloween, we’d like to remind everyone to keep their cat indoors. ‘Round my old neighborhood, cats were seen as objects for kids to throw into bonfires or tie fireworks to. In other neighborhoods, they’re used as live decorations or mock ritual kills. Black cats and Halloween are so prevalent that some shelters refuse to allow people to adopt black cats in October fearing the cat will be killed or abandoned once the holiday is over.

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