Through history, felines have played many roles. Challenged as hunters, loved as pets, or even revered for their supposed magical abilities, cats have been an integral part of human life for as long as they’ve existed. Black cats, specifically, have a long, rich historical relationship with spiritualism and the supernatural. Despite being avoided by many due to superstition, black cats are still held to high esteem by others due to the belief that they bring about good fortunes.
Honestly though, just how lucky can they really be?
In Celtic mythology, black cats are associated with a fairy known as Cat Sith, named due to its ability to take the form of a large black cat with a white spot on its chest.Cat Sith was said to bless the cows of anyone who left him a saucer of milk on Samhain while cursing those who did not. This lore is often cited as the first instance of black cats being associated with luck and likely sparked the long-standing relation.
Black cats are also often thought to bring luck with romantic prowess. In Japan, black cats are often picked up by single women. It is believed that, if treated with kindness and care, the black cat will attract many viable suitors to the owner. After marriage, English lore states that newlyweds should adopt a black cat shortly after their marriage begins. The cat will bring longevity to the relationship and ward off any evil spirits that may attempt to befall the couple.
Alternatively, some adopt black cats to provoke wealth and prosperity. In Japanese shops and restaurants, you will often find a white lucky cat awaiting you, paw raised. These lucky cats are thought to bring wealth, luck, and health to the shop owners. Sometimes though, you will happen across a black one. These are thought to be even more powerful, still bringing luck but also protecting against curses, evil spirits, and vandals.
French peasants also believed in the money bringing power of black cats. They held true that if you released a black cat at a crossroad, it would take the path that lead to treasure. The stories do not state if wealth was ever found by following a black cat but either way, the tales are incredibly common.
English sailors often carried black cats on their ships. On top of helping contain the mouse population on the boat, black cats would ensure safe travels and that the crew would arrive home after the voyage. The belief was so widespread that the prices for black cats skyrocketed, making them unaffordable for many sailors. The spreading belief made them a popular pet for business owners and eventually came to private homes too.
Felines have been an integral part of human life for as long as we have coexisted. From pets to workers to deities, we have relied on our furry friends for centuries. Though feared in some cultures, black cats are commonly associated with luck and prosperity, making them a popular pet. There is no scientific standing to support these claims but the lore has spread so far and wide that many believe there must be some sliver of truth somewhere.
Lucky or not, black cats make absolutely amazing pets and entirely deserve the love they receive.