For the more superstitious, the black cat is a concern, a synonym of bad luck and bad luck, so much so that it reigns supreme even during the darkest night of the year: that of Halloween. In the list of animals of difficult reputation, the black cat certainly reigns supreme: just think of the reactions – mostly unmotivated – that many assume in its presence. A compendium of irrational behaviors such as stopping if a specimen crosses the road, changing direction, or throwing spells and superstitious gestures. And yet, despite rumors, dark-skinned cats are not carriers of misfortune. Where did this legend come from?
Black cat and legends
The reputation of a cat brings bad luck is not recent: it has its roots even in the Middle Ages, when the figure of witches was feared. It was believed that these diabolical presences wandered at night in the company of their most trusted friends: black cats, emblems of darkness but also of Hell and mourning. Meeting them was not a good omen, since it was difficult to distinguish them from the darkness, in fact the horses were frightened at their sight until they threw down the riders.
It was Pope Gregory IX to associate them with witches, condemning their presence and favoring a long bloody hunt. This led to a near-total decimation, with a continuous departure that favored his death, a condition that had heavy repercussions during the period marked by the plague.
Cat and dream
Even dreaming of the feline with a black coat has represented, over time, a bad omen: the figure of the animal has always been associated with the Devil, witchcraft and death. Not really a positive symbol from the dreamlike point of view and, therefore, an omen of bad luck and nocturnal anxiety.
Cat and art
Literature and painting have also contributed to perpetrating the image of the black cat as a symbol of misfortune: just think of the ominous tale of Edgar Allan Poe. Eduard Manet, on the other hand, tried to exorcise the image by turning it into the emblem of the poster of the Folies-Bergère ballroom in Paris. In the painting of Frida, “Self-portrait with necklace of thorns and hummingbirds”, the black cat present is comfortably perched on the left shoulder, ready to shoot in defense of the artist.
Cat and witches
As anticipated, the figure of the black cat has always been depicted alongside the witches, as a negative symbol and companion of misdeeds and magic. But the feminine magic figure was not used only with the quadruped, because the evil symbolism is rich in animals such as owls, crows, frogs and many others: legends without foundation that ruined the feline’s reputation.
Black cat deity and valid ally
Despite the terrible reputation that ruins its reputation, the black cat has long been idolized by the Egyptians, so much to represent a sacred animal, finding space in representations of the hieroglyphics of the time. Although many continue to fear this specimen, in reality, the black cat is a very fascinating animal, with a loyal and affectionate character. In its honor the World Day of the Black Cat was created, which falls on the November 17, born in defense of this specimen: every year in the world, due to unfounded superstitions, it is estimated that 60,000 specimens die.