Popularly considered to be witches’ familiars or companions, different allegations and superstitions have been built around black cats, with some cultures perceiving their presence as ills which have to be necessarily done away with.
But contrary to the general bad luck-and-black cat connection, not all cultures in the world see black cats only as incarnations of evil or bringers of doom and despair. Some cultures are actually known to have accepted black cats as symbols of good luck, a reverse take on the bad luck superstitions which hound black colored felines in most parts of the world.
In Ireland and Great Britain, for example, black cats are generally considered as symbols of good luck, with Scottish households even welcoming the sight of a black cat stumbling into their homes. In Scotland, strange black cats hanging outside porches are welcome sights, considered as symbols of prosperity.
In Italy, hearing a cat sneeze is associated as a sign of good luck, black cats included. In Ireland, killing a cat is believed to bring bad luck for seventeen years, also including black cats. Egyptians believed that the sun’s life giving rays rested in the cat’s eyes during night, a stash, so to speak, for safe keeping.
In Germany, a subject-to-interpretation take over bad or good luck is associated with black cats, dependent on: If a black cat crosses a person’s path from left to right, it’s a sign of good luck. If the path is right to left, it signals bad luck to come.
Pirates of old also have a similar take: If a black cat gets on a boat then walks away from it, the ship is bound for some troubles on its next voyage.
The oldest connection linked to the black cats and bad luck superstition hails from Ancient Egypt, where the goddess Bast, was revered. Represented as a black cat, many avoided black cats in relation to Bast, not necessarily because Bast was a bad goddess, but more for of what Bast is known to do if she were angry.
Today, Animal Shelters based in the United States report that black cats are among the least adopted of felines, perhaps a marker indicating that though we now live in progressive modern times, there are still certain superstitions which haven't totally gone away.
How about you? Would you rather not get a black cat since it's supposed to bring bad luck?