Do Black Cats Really Cause Bad Luck?

I wouldn’t trade my black cats for all the white kitties in the world.

Part of the reason is that I am quite attached to Lite, UltraLite, Asher, Fuzzy, Wuzzy, and The Glass-Eyed Kitty. Another part of the reason is that I enjoy the raised eyebrows and the tales of the Bad Luck Blackies.

See, I love my black cats right down to their grass-green eyes (except for Glass-Eye, she has one sky-blue peeper). Although they say that owning a black cat is much luckier than just stumbling across them…

Maybe it’s a matter of favor and I have petted and spoiled my way into the good graces of kitties that would otherwise have had me cursed and put to death.

Not in my experience

I have owned black cats throughout my whole life. I used to play into the superstitions game and name the cats accordingly…

The Ghost and the Darkness were long-haired jet cats with blue eyes, and the ability to sneak up on anything that breathed.

Salem talked…not in English, but incessantly.

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Demon could howl and wake the dead in the night.

Not once have I ever felt cursed. The cats have always been lovable and sweet companions.

Where the legends began

There are plenty of legends surrounding black cats and the bad luck they can supposedly bring. Everyone knows that if a black cat crosses your path, you should turn back. A few people in ancient times even believed that the black cat crossing the road brought the Black Plague.

Witch’s familiars are traditionally black and feline, and probably got their reputation from the sweet old spinsters who used to be the most likely to feed and love a stray alley cat in the ghettos of the Dark Ages…and of course these eccentric old ladies were the ones most often misunderstood and burned as witches.

One man threw a rock at an injured black cat a long time ago…the cat scampered into the home of a known Old Maid. When the man later saw the woman and noticed that she walked with a limp and sported a bruise on her cheek, he became convinced that she and the cat were one and the same, and the Cat IS Witch legend was born.

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Other cultures believe that cats are demons, and some buy into the Norse myth that has Odin’s evil wife driving a chariot pulled by black cats across the night sky in search of souls to steal.

A few little-known cat superstitions

In addition to bringing bad luck and death, there are some more superstitions about black cats that are interesting and fun if you like the jet kitties. If you don’t, some of these may bring fear and change your path sometime soon…

  • During a funeral procession, sighting a black cat is sometimes believed to mean that the death of another family member is eminent.
  • You can supposedly rub a stye (eye sore) with a black cat’s tail and it will be healed when you wake.
  • A twist on the bad luck brought by a black cat crossing your path claims that being crossed by a black feline means death by an epidemic.
  • If you find an unfamiliar black cat on your front porch, you’ll soon find success in business.
  • If you’re sick, some believe that allowing a black cat to lay on your bed will bring a sure and quick death.
  • Following a black cat to a ship ensures a safe voyage, but finding yourself behind a black cat anywhere else is a bad omen.
  • In some parts of England, a black cat is a beloved wedding present that is said to bring good fortune and healthy babies to the bride.
  • Find a road that meets up with four others, and drop off your black cat in the center of the intersection. Some believe the cat will take you from there to buried treasure.
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Although I have never traveled by sea, and I don’t drop my pets off in strange intersections, I really don’t believe the myths and mystery surrounding black cats.

They’re enigmatic, independent, and beautiful…as are all cats. The lore and legend that follows black cats just lend an interesting history to an already intriguing animal.

…although, I do spoil my cats. Maybe they are actually my familiars and are protecting me from an ugly truth…

Article By: Tori Leigh Fry

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