Whose Afraid of the Big Black Cat Anyways?

It’s nearly the spookiest time of the year, which has me thinking it’s about time I sit down and watch Hocus Pocus, as one does when the air gets crisp, and the leaves begin to change. So, I did just that.

Supernatural Black Cats like Binx

As I watched the movie for the millionth time, I saw Binx, the immortal black cat in the movie, scurry across the screen. While Binx is a good guy in this movie, his presence in general made me wonder, why is it that we often view or think of black cats as ominous or eerie, like that of the spirit of Halloween? How did black cats get singled out as devious little creatures of the supernatural? Well, let me just tell you, it goes wayyyyy back.

Black Cat - Natural Wonder Pets

The History of Cats

The history of cats in general goes wayyyy back. In ancient Egyptian times, cats – even the black ones – were worshipped! In fact, the Egyptians even had a cat goddess to which they worshipped, as she was thought to guard against diseases and evil spirits. However, as time passed, somehow the cat’s good reputation began to tarnish.

Black Cats: Incarnation of Satan

By the Middle Ages, Pope Gregory IX declared black cats to be the “incarnation of Satan,” and therefore, began the hunting and persecuting of cats themselves.  It was at this same time the church also began to feel threatened by witches and heretics, as they were deemed a diabolical, supernatural force that needed to be reckoned with. That said, not only was the church burning cats at the stake, so too were they burning witches.

The church really had it out for these guys! They truly and honestly believed cats and witches were able to shape shift and cast spells or hexes. It was thought that the two were working together in the name of the devil, and the only way to rid the world of such evil, was to burn them alive, apparently.

The Bad Rep Lives On for Centuries

Despite this all taking place back in the MIDDLE AGES (476 CE to the 14th century), the idea that black cats (and witches) are evil or spooky has stuck around for centuries upon centuries. Sure, we no longer burn them at the stake, and most of us don’t actually believe they can shape shift, nevertheless, the idea lives on. And what better time of year to really lean into that “darkness” than during the spookiest season of them all?!

Happy Halloween to all the witches and cats they couldn’t burn.

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