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The link between the feline and fate, luck and the occult has been around for millennia. But where did all the cat superstitions and myths come from?
Black Cats and Bad Omens
The belief that a black cat walking across your path will bring bad luck is well-known throughout the western world and probably stems from the Middle Ages, when black-furred felines were commonly associated with witches. For centuries, the fear of cats grew strong as they were seen to be dark creatures of the occult. The fact that black cats are considered “creepy” is probably due to the fact that their colouring allowed them to seemingly appear and disappear in the night.
Oriental Kitties and Good Fortune
If you have ever been to a Chinese or Japanese shop, you may have noticed a small cat statue facing the front door. These felines will beckon with their paw, bringing good fortune to the shopkeeper. This superstition arose from Japanese sailors who brought cats aboard their ships to stave off bad luck during their voyages.
The Nine Lives of a Cat
In many countries around the world, cats are believed to have nine lives. This myth likely stems from the fact that cats are naturally supple, agile and sleek, giving the impression that they deftly avoid death wherever they go. One look at a kitty balancing precariously on a tree branch or leaping from a tall wall only to land on its feet is certainly enough to confirm this belief!
Angela Neal is a writer, editor and online consultant based in Scotland. She previously was a contributor to Petside.co.uk.