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In detail

Cats and superstition: 4 myths from around the world


Since the ancient Egyptians worshiped cats as gods, superstitions and myths have grown up around the velvet paws. Sometimes it is said that the fur noses are good luck charms, then again that they are responsible for bad luck. We have listed a few of these assumptions for you. Superstition or not: With this angry cat you should keep your distance - Shutterstock / nico99

Many a superstition regarding our domestic cats has its roots deep in the past - if they were still considered gods in ancient times in Egypt, people in the Middle Ages believed that animals were evil and associated with witches. In addition, however, there are also more harmless and amusing myths about cats.

1. Cats and the weather

For example, superstition of the somewhat bizarre kind is the assumption that cats can predict or influence the weather. In Indonesia, Sumatra and Java, for example, it is an old popular belief that velvet paws cause rain when you bathe or wet them. However, it is much more likely that the cat will react rather indignantly to the involuntary contact with water. In France, among other things, it is said that it will rain when the house tigers brush their paws behind their ears.

2. Superstition: house tigers bring bad luck

Especially when a black cat crosses the path, that means bad luck in Germany or the USA. In Ireland it is only a problem if the black cat runs into people by moonlight - then those affected die during an epidemic. English students, on the other hand, have to expect trouble when they see a white cat. Unless they spit on the floor or turn and cross each other afterwards. The following superstition was common among seafarers: if a black cat enters the ship and immediately disappears, the ship will sink on its next voyage. In Italy, it means that if you hear a cat sneeze three times in a row, you get a cold.

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3. Good luck cats for satisfaction and prosperity

Sneezing the Italian cat only once, however, brings luck, according to superstition. In the United States, the myth is common that white cats bring luck if you dream of them or meet them on the street; unless it's night, they bring bad luck. The Amish community believes that a cat who has made herself comfortable in an empty cradle is announcing the imminent birth of a baby. Black velvet paws can also be good luck messengers, for example in Japan it is a superstition that they can heal sick children and protect them from evil. In general, the Japanese cats are benevolent - the waving cat figure "Maneki Neko" brings luck and prosperity. Buddhism means that a light cat gives the owner silver and a dark cat gold. Superstitious Russians first let their fur noses enter a new house because luck is supposed to bring them. According to a Chinese saying, someone who doesn't like cats doesn't get a beautiful woman. French rumors that a young woman who takes good care of the fur noses will have a happy marriage.

4. Gods, witches and demons

In Norse mythology, Freya was the goddess of love and marriage, moving in a car pulled by two forest cats. In the Middle Ages, however, it was believed that domestic cats symbolized evil. A possible explanation for this superstition is the night activity of the velvet paws and their eyes glowing in the dark. They were suspected of serving witches or being witches in animal form themselves. In Malaysian folk tales there is the vampire-like demon Bajang. It originates from stillborn children and appears in cat form when conjured up by magicians. Bajang then sucks out the wizard's enemies and infects them with deadly diseases. The Indian witch creature Chordeva appears in the form of a black cat and sucks out the lives of weakened people when they lick their lips.