Why do Witches have black cats?

by Jackie Bass on October 31, 2010

Muxu encuriosit

Creative Commons License photo credit: nafra cendrer

sMost of the legends and stories of black cats are hearsay, and there are no concrete facts on why witches are said to prefer black cats, but here are some things I thought were interesting.

Black cats have played a key role in folklore for centuries.  In the Middle Ages, black cats were believed to be a witch’s helper.  Some people even believed that the witches transformed themselves into black cats.

It was in the Middle Ages that the black cat became affiliated with evil.  This is believed because the color black to some equals demons.  Cats are also nocturnal and roam during the night, while everyone else is asleep. They were also believed to have supernatural powers that the witches used to do their evil deeds.  Black cats got a bad reputation only because black was considered an unholy color in that time period.

In western history, black cats have often been looked upon as a symbol of evil omens, and witches were thought of in the same manner.  People thought the traits associated with the cat made them more appealing to witches.  They are clever, unpredictable, independent, and, legend has it, have nine lives.  While in reality their lives are limited to just one, cats have always been thought of as mysterious.  The cat’s sleek movements and glowing eyes became the personification of darkness, mystery and evil.

When we look at things in another point of view we find that often times a cat would find shelter with an older woman who was probably living alone.  Black cats, as is the case with any other color cats, make wonderful companions to young and old alike.  Older women, most still maternally inclined, make the cat a companion, and would curse anyone who tried to mistreat it.

Sadly, these superstitions still go on today.  It has gotten so bad that the animal shelters and humane societies refuse to allow anyone to adopt a black cat during the entire month of October.  In previous years, practitioners of the occults, as well as your everyday sadists, took to the streets looking for their sacrificial black cats.

Halloween is a fun time, and we all like to hear the scary stories and folklore of this holiday, but remember you will always have people that will take those legends to extreme.  Keep you and your animal’s safe by locking doors, and not letting your cats roam outside till Halloween is over.

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