The Truth About Black Cats & Halloween

Once and For All…

I’m sure you all know that black cats have long been associated with Halloween…but why? Is it solely because black things are stereotyped as dark and mysterious? I realized that in my many years of working with cats, and actually owning a black cat myself, I really didn’t know the answer either. Next thing you know I’m on the dark web trying to buy an elusive black lykoi, yada yada yada, I came across some possible answers to the question. Just how accurate of answers they are is up for debate, as is with any topic solely researched via google. I’d prefer we just “let go” of our factual hang-ups this week and just enjoy a few of the black cat facts I found.

Black cats have been associated with evil dating back to over 2,000 years ago, when many people believed that they were really witches in disguise! 

Cats also made an appearance in Greek mythology, specifically Hecate, goddess of magic, sorcery, the moon and witchcraft, was described as having a cat as both a pet and a familiar (a supernatural creature that assists a witch, according to European folklore). Guess what color it was…

The term “9 lives” actually originated from black cats! It was believed that witches could shape shift into a black cat up to 9 times!

And just look at this album cover- not overtly associating a cat with a witch, but Janet Jackson legit did not give a fuck back in the day, so in a way she’s kinda witchy, right? Sorry… got distracted.

It was also believed that a witch could reincarnate into a black cat after death… and that the devil actually gifted black cats to witches to act as their servants.

During the time of The Salem Witch Trials, black cats and witches were thought to bond together and were referred to as “familiars”

One of the most direct connections between black cats and Halloween is the Gaelic Festival, Samhain. It took place between sunset on October 31st and sunset November 1st to mark the end of harvest season. Cat Sith, a Celtic fairy that looked like a black cat,  would bless any house that left a saucer of milk, and curse houses that did not!

 In 1233, Pope Gregory IX issued a papal bull titled Vox in Rama that declared cats, specifically black cats, were symbols of Satan; this is often traced back to the beginning of the vilification of cats and black cats in particular.

“The fear is directed at black cats because patriarchal religion tends to be dualistic — with all qualities divided into good or bad. If light is good, darkness is bad. If white represents good, black represents evil. This is the underpinning of racism, and it is also what fuels superstition about black cats being evil” – a quote from a Wiccan priestess named Cerridwen Fallingstar. Don’t raise your eyebrows at me… she seems pretty on point to me. Here’s another quote I found from her on a different website regarding this whole cat/witch thing…

“The relationship between witches and black cats in particular is probably imaginary, but it is possible that black cats make better mousers, since they cannot be seen at night and therefore have a hunting advantage,” she explains. “Witches do tend towards the practical.”

Image from History.com

To elaborate on that note- cats were thought to be spreaders of the Bubonic Plague early on, and were exterminated to help curb the spread of the disease. This turned out to be a detrimental move- as it was actually rodents spreading the disease, and with the cat population significantly lowered, the rats were left unchecked… allowing for an even higher rate of disease than before! (Don’t you wonder who’s bright idea that was?)

So there you have it! Some fun facts about black cats and Halloween! Make sure to show your black cat some special attention today if you have one, because you never know… We’ll be keeping ours extra close!

~Shannon & Whitney

3 thoughts on “The Truth About Black Cats & Halloween

  1. It basically boils down to mankind and dumb superstition that gave them such a bad rap. My oldest and dearest black cat died a a year and a half ago he was 25 years old and I had him 23 of those years His name was Ozzie named after the Wizard of Oz because of his emerald green eyes. I can tell you black cats are no different than any other cats. We currently have two black cats Rowan our male cat and Roxi our little girl. He is a Burmese mix and she is a Bombay mix and we also have a beautiful Ragdoll Olivia she isn’t black, but she needs mentioned.
    I have had people try to tell me all kinds of crazy things like black cats suffocate babies, that they curse you, that they are bad luck if they cross your path, and other crazy things. If I had bad luck every time a black cat crossed my path I would be dead by now since both mine cross my path all day and half the night.
    I believe you would agree all cats are awesome no matter the color they are :).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunately people will believe almost anything but the truth. Black dogs don’t have it much better they get adopted much less than other color dogs do. I love my black cats they are smart and mostly sweet.

        Like

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