Most of us have long been aware that black cats occasionally are in danger around Halloween from the kind of sadists who are actually only somewhat less dangerous the rest of the year, to all of us. Adoption agencies usually are very reluctant to adopt out black cats in October.
Aside from the Christian accusations there are also old myths that may attribute bad luck to cats. Supposedly, King Charles I of England owned a black cat and the day it died he was arrested. An old sailor's legend said that meeting cats in the shipyard meant an unpleasant voyage of storms or other bad luck. In Babylonian folklore a curled up cat on the hearth is seen as similar to evil serpent.
Often times a cat will exhibit strange actions like seeing something that is unseen or batting at nothing in the air. This coupled with their amazing ability to see well in near darkness has created the myth that cats can see spirits or ghosts, another potentially evil pastime.
During witch trials, cats were often tortured and killed by Christian puritans along with the supposed witches. Some thought that witches had the ability to change shape into a cat, others thought that both cats and witches are evil so they must be in cahoots. Many people also think that witches sacrifice cats during their rituals which is foolish because witchcraft is a very nature-friendly religion. However, due to communal reinforcement, to this day many animal shelters will not allow the adoption of cats around Halloween for fear of their abuse.
However, not every culture thought that black cats were bad luck. The ancient Egyptians treated cats with utmost respect. They were considered kingly animals and to kill one was a capital offence. The ancient Egyptians even went as far as to mummify their cats when they died to preserve them for the afterlife. They had a deity with the head of a cat named Bast to which they dedicated their mummified cats. The ancient Egyptians weren't the only culture who thought cats were special.
Labels: Humane Treatment of Animals