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The Cat and the Darkness!

Saurin Desai Nov 24, 2018
Since ancient times, few animals have been as loved and as loathed as the cat... here are some superstitions, heard and unheard.
"...She's into superstitions, black cats, and voodoo dolls", sang Ricky Martin. He's not the first; since ancient times, few animals have been as loved and loathed in equal measure as the cat.
They are surrounded by myths and superstitions, from the ridiculous to the more ridiculous and, scary. Unlike other domestic pets, which can be trained and are mostly loyal, affectionate and friendly, cats have a mind of their own.
In fact, according to a Chinese legend, the Gods had chosen cats to rule the world and even given them the power of speech, but the cats, wanting to laze around and not work, passed on the powers to humans.
Though the awe and fear apply to cats in general, it is more with black cats as black color is related to night, when evil is said to rise.
Black is also symbolic of, among other things, power, sexuality, sophistication, wealth, mystery, bad luck, misfortune, fear, emptiness and mourning. The most evil magic is called 'black magic'. It is not surprising that in most parts of world, black cats are considered harbingers of evil.
Cats are connected to Gods, devil, witchcraft, religion, and supernatural for centuries and in various cultures. In Britain and Australia, black cats are considered symbol of good luck, and some consider white cats to be unlucky.
Some common superstitions about cats:
If a black cat crossed your path, you would be blessed or cursed, respectively, with good or bad luck, depending on customs and beliefs.
✦ To reverse the bad luck brought by a black cat, a simple solution was to walk in a circle, then go backward to the spot where it happened, and count to 13.
✦ Cats were believed to be witches in disguise or their helpers.
✦ They were also thought to have demons and spirits residing in their bodies, and were thought to possess supernatural powers.
✦ It was believed that spirits could return by possessing a cat's body, and only an evil spirit would occupy a black cat.

✦ To see a black cat after midnight was believed equivalent to seeing Satan himself.
✦ A cat sitting on a grave meant, the dead person's soul was possessed by devil, two cats fighting on a grave meant that devil and dead person's guardian angel were fighting for soul.

✦ In Ireland, a black cat crossing path in moonlight was considered harbinger of death by epidemic.
✦ It was also said that if a black cat left a house, misfortune would befall its occupants.

✦ Dreams of black cats were supposed to be warnings about something unfortunate about to happen.
✦ If a black cat entered a house or a ship on its own, it was considered good, and the cat was not chased away, or it would take the luck away.
✦Fishermen and sailors, who are superstitious, had many cat-related beliefs.

✦ If a cat ran before a sailor on dock, it was good, but it crossing his path was bad!
✦ A sailor would have good luck if a cat on ship neared him; but it was bad if it turned midway.
✦ A sure way to raise a sea storm was to throw a cat overboard!

✦ Wives of sailors, fishermen kept black cat at home so their husbands would avoid danger at sea, leading to stealing of black cats.
There is no scientific evidence to prove that cats or any animal, can influence luck. An experiment done by Mark Levin proved that no black or white cat brought any change in the subject's luck.
But in spite of all evidence to the contrary, superstitions about cats are so ancient and ingrained in our psyche that it will take centuries to consider cats completely innocent and harmless.
As someone said once, 'cats were treated like royalty once, and they remember'!