The Black-Cat-Blues Where Did All the Superstition Begin

Our world is full of superstitious people concerned about black cats. If one runs across the road or under a ladder, you might be surprised to have a friend freak out. With Halloween upon us, many windows will feature a picture of a black cat with yellow eyes. What’s it all about?

  • Cats and Witches
    One tradition dating back hundreds of years is that witches could transform themselves into cats. This was a preferred method of stealth movements (according to this tradition). In more recent years, this is seen in the Harry Potter series when McGonagall transforms from a cat into her human form at the beginning of the first movie. Because people feared the mythology surrounding witches, they also feared black cats.


  • Cats and Egypt
    The prominence of cats in Egyptian history and imagery is well documented. Because of what some deem to be cultic religious practices and burial traditions  (featuring mummies, tombs, and pyramids), cats are often associated with the underworld of Egyptian lore.


  • Pope and Pets
    The fables about black cats have been bolstered by the Pope as well. The History Channel notes that it was in the,  “…13th century when an official church document called ‘Vox in Rama’ was issued by Pope Gregory IX on June 13, 1233. In it, black cats were declared an incarnation of Satan….”

If you’ve ever been around many cats, you know they all have different personalities – just like people. The black cat obsession lives in our minds not in reality. Perhaps we are simply on alert when we see a black cat and notice when they cross the road, scamper under ladders, or look in our direction with piercing eyes. Enjoy the Halloween season and consider giving the black-cat-blues a rest.


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