Monday May 20, 2013
SimplyCats Halloween Mewsletter:
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Hello and welcome to our Halloween 2009 Mewsletter!.
Today, black cats are as much a symbol of Halloween as are pumpkins, ghosts and witches and as it's Halloween we have created a Mewsletter dedicated to all things relating to Cats and Halloween.
Although cats of all types have been associated with the occult by different cultures, black cats in particular are noted most in folklore. Several legends exists about black cats being evil, causing bad luck, being the familiars of witches, and many other dark things.
Cats are primarily nocturnal; from the cute little house cats to the very dangerous pumas and lions. Also, they are great stalkers allowing them to sneak around at night making humans very paranoid. Being associated with the darkness of night didn't help their image because the color black has always been associated with evil due to our ancestor's fear of the night.
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Black cat, cross my path - good fortune bring to home and hearth. When I am away from home, bring me luck wherever I roam
- Old English Charm
Black Cat Facts
Animal rescue shelters report that black cats and kittens, because of superstition, prejudice, or
simply their tendency to blend into the shadows of their cages, are the ones most likely to be passed over for adoption?
During the 12th and 13th century, witches in Europe were often found with their "familiars," (usually black cats), and the witches themselves were said to turn themselves into cats at times. During the witch-burning era of the 17th century, witches' cats were put into baskets and burned alongside the witches.
Black cats are associated with good luck. In fact your luck is said to turn good if a black cat crosses your path. In years gone by, sailor's wives kept black cats as they believed their presence would protect their husbands from the dangers of the sea. It is also well known that if a black cat enters your home uninvited and settles on your hearth, then any business in the family will prosper.
An old saying about black cats is that 'Whenever the cat of the house is black, the lasses of lovers shall have no lack'. It was said that if the household cat sneezed near a bride on her wedding day, she would have a happy married life.
Seamen avoid the word 'cat' while at sea, but to have a cat on board is lucky, especially if it is a completely black cat with no white hairs. To throw the cat overboard raises an immediate violent storm; no sailor would do such a thing to the ship's cat, and in fact cats are rarely left on an abandoned ship but are generally rescued with the sailors. In Yorkshire, if a sailor's wife kept a black cat,
her husband would always return safely from the sea; this sometimes led to black cats being stolen.
Black fur usually skips a generation due to the characteristic's association with the X chromosome.
New research has shown that black coats have evolved separately many times in different species of cats – indicating that dark fur has a survival benefit. The need to appear camouflaged at night is one explanation while other research suggests the mutation that makes cats black might have helped them resist a deadly infection thousands of years ago.
Black panthers aren't a distinct breed of big cat - they're just jaguars with a genetic condition known as melanism, which makes them completely black.
The Celts thought black cats were reincarnated beings who were able to divine the future and the Normans believed that if a black cat crossed your path in the moonlight, you would die in an epidemic.
Top ten reasons to own a black cat
They look like little panthers
A lint brush isn't required for a black-tie affair
Holding a black cat is very slimming
Black cats will match any decor
When you love a black cat, luck is on your side
Every woman should have a little black dress
and a little black cat
They don't care what color you are!
Black cats are like onyx, a beautiful gem
Love knows no color
They are the least likely to be adopted
Cats and witchcraft
The cat first became involved with the cult of witchcraft way back in ancient Egypt.
Highest among the gods of those days was Bast - the great Cat-headed Goddess, thought to be the companion of Ra the Sun God. She became identified with the female aspects of the god, particularly Isis the Moon Goddess. Witches were once the priestesses of Isis - thereby linking cats and witches.
In the 13th century, the first witchcraft trials were held, the cat suffered greatly. Pagan religions held that witches turned into cats. Cats were blamed for everything from souring the beer to spreading disease. It was commonly believed that their teeth contained venom and that their breath caused disease and infection. Any cat that was seen in the company of an old woman was assumed to be a witch's associate. Hundreds of unfortunate cats were burned alive by people who believed they did the work of the devil.
In the 15th century when witch-hunting was at its height, the massacre of thousands of women and cats was excused as a way to cast out evil spirits.
A common belief among many pagan religions was that witches took the form of cats at sundown. It has been recorded that in the year 1718 a William Montgomery of Cathiness alleged that hundreds of cats gathered outside his house nightly, and spoke in human language. He claimed that he killed two of them and awoke the next morning to the news that two of the area's old women were mysteriously found dead in their beds.
By the 17th century, the cat once again gained favour by virtually saving Europe from the ravages of the great plague by controlling the rat population. In 1822 the first anti-cruelty law to protect animals was passed in Britain.
It was said that every cat should be given two names; a country rhyme states 'One for a secret, one for a riddle, name puss twice and befuddle the devil'. This saying was based on the belief that one person could gain power and ascendancy over another simply by knowing his or her real name; by giving the household cat two names, one for common use and one secret and never revealed to outsiders, the pet which had the run of the household could be protected from becoming a tool of evil or of outside infiltration.
Paul and Sarah MRCVS
We hope you enjoyed our first ever Halloween Mewsletter.
Remember, chasing a black cat out of a home is bad luck, as the cat takes the good luck with it.
Be creative, live long, be happy and follow your own path.
...And the emperor said "Let the party begin!"
Paul and Sarah M's RCVS
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