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Monday, October 29, 2012

Black Cats and Halloween

Royalty Free Clip Art

For years, black cats have gotten a bad rap. There are many superstitions circulating around that are associated with them.

1. They are bad luck

2. They are a symbol of evil omens

3. Black cats are familiars of witches, going out to spy and do evil deeds

4. They symbolize death or misfortune

5. They have supernatural powers

This list couldn’t be further from the truth.

In the Middle Ages, the superstitions of people led to the killing of many black cats. Some people believed them to be “satanic” cats, burning them in large-scale massacres, usually in bonfires throughout Europe. They became sacrifices in rituals at Halloween and on Hallows Eve. This had the unintended consequence of increasing the rat population and the spread of the Black Death and other diseases carried by rodents. There weren’t as many cats to keep the rodents under control, so unbeknownst to the people; their own irrational beliefs brought this plague upon themselves.

There is a lower adoption rate for black cats that end up in animal shelters because of all the superstition surrounding them. Many shelters suspend adoption of black cats around the Halloween holiday because they are symbols of Halloween, along with witches and ghosts associated with the season. Some nuts roam around out there who may wish to use them in rituals, or to cause them harm.

If you own a black cat and let them run loose, I suggest you keep them inside for their own safety until the holiday is over. There was a group of Goth kids when I lived in Ca. They would hunt down cats for sacrifices on Halloween. I know this is hard to believe, but nevertheless, is true. We used to hear cats screeching at night as their claws dug into the fences trying to get away from the running feet and whispered voices that pursued them.
Wizard - Sunni's Pictures

A black cat is like any other cat except for the misguided stigma associated with them. They are the most gentle of cats with mild and peaceful dispositions. I felt honored that my black cat let me share his life. He was a beautiful boy; I would never hesitate to own another black cat. I’m sure I will someday. He is gone now, but never forgotten.


  1. I'm not superstitious about black cats, but I'm no fan of cats either. My mother has always disliked cats and I guess she passed that on to me. Happy Halloween!

    Tossing It Out

  2. Oh my gosh! Lee, I feel so bad for you. I know everyone can't love cats the way I do, but they're such loving marvelous creatures, so unlike a dog, although I like all animals. But cats are quiet and stealthy, independent, gentle and loyal despite an aloof nature. Of course I was raised with cats, but we had dogs too on the farm. I guess I just bonded with cats better.

    Thank you anyway for readng and writing. That means a lot. We can't all be of the same frame of mind. That's what makes such a wonderful world, isn't it?


  3. My own black cat looks so much like the photo of Wizard. He is a gentle Bombay-ish rescue kitty with a great sense of humor. Even after all these years, he still loves to play Hide & Seek with me. He's also willing to drape himself across one shoulder and accompany me throughout the house. He's a dear. His Russian Blue-ish rescue kitty pal is the Sumo wrestler of kitty-dom. He uses his weight and green-eyed glare to intimidate 100 pound Labs and any critter, for that matter.

  4. Hi Writing Coach,

    Thanks for reading and writing. Cats are just the best and I've found the black ones are the gentlist of the bunch. Wizard would always do a disappearing act on me and that's how he got his name. That cat could vanish in a flash and appear the same way. When he was younger he used to hide and grab my ankles when I'd walk by. I think he liked to startle me, so I'd squeal. He had the most beautiful green eyes too - like emeralds.

    Your cats sound adorable.


  5. After seventeen beloved dogs, a little black cat adopted me. She was the most precious thing in the world to me. What character,courage, intelligence, sweetness, I could go on for ever, and miss her terribly. It saddens me to think that black cats have to face such unkind prejudice.
    Such a good post Sunni,and I hope every-one passes on your warning.

  6. Valerie,

    Thank you for your comments. I do indeed hope this warning gets passed on because this does happen to black cats on Halloween. It may be hard to think that there are people out there who would do things like this, but they do exist, even today.


  7. Cats were sacred in ancient Egypt. Bastet was the cat goddess and cats were invaluable in keeping the stores of grain families depended upon free of rats. You could be killed for harming a cat, and in fact a Roman soldier once was. Pets were mummified and entombed with their owners. Especially cats.

  8. Hi Susan,

    Thanks for reading and posting.

    Yes I'm aware that cats were sacred in ancient Egypt and probably other places too.

    This may sound morbid, but I've cremated a lot of mine and they will be joining me in my coffin one day, so we can spend eternity together, our bodies anyway.



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