Cats are Lucky Charms!

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There are so many myths surrounding cats. Some good and some bad. Here’s a compilation of good superstitions surrounding cats.
No matter what we believe about cats, it is obvious to all pet parents that they have a ‘sixth sense’ and seem to understand a great
Joan Henderson
deal more than we give them credit for – when we come home, after being out for several hours, the cat is very likely to be sitting at the door as if they know that we will be home very soon. Here are a few superstitions surrounding cats.

  • Lucky charm: It has always been felt that Egyptians truly believed that the powers of a living cat could protect them from all evil.
  • Good for harvest: Europeans, in many country areas, thought that cats were essential to a good harvest and so they were treated with great respect and care.
  • Weather forecast: A sitting cat, with her back to the fire was believed to be a sign that frost was on the way.
  • Lucky on ship: Sailors, when on their ship, considered it was very lucky to have a cat on board, especially a black cat, though, for some strange reason it was unlucky to actually say the word ‘Cat’!
  • Good for baby: Placing a cat into a cradle in Russia was thought to turn evil spirits away from the new baby that was sleeping in it.
  • Look into my eyes: For some strange reason, in old China, they felt they could tell the time when they looked into a cat’s eyes. If there were changes in a cat’s eyes the ancient Romans were of the opinion that the eyes had a connection with the changing phases of the moon, and, in ancient Egypt they believed that the eyes of a cat mirrored the rays of the sun and protected mankind from darkness and despair.
  • Good luck: No one understands why, in Britain, black cats are still considered to be lucky and if one walked in front of a bride and groom it was seen as a very happy omen for the marriage….another belief at a wedding concerned a cat sneezing near the bride on the day of her wedding and made her feel that her marriage would be a long and happy one… AND… a pure white cat was thought to bring good fortune and luck to their pet parents.
  • Good fortune: Long ago, in China, the image of a cat was believed to mean fortune and long life.  Mao, the Chinese name for cat, means ‘eighty years’.
  • Good for wealth: Another feeling about black cats was that they brought good fortune and that if the person who finds a black cat with a single white hair and pulls it out without being scratched will soon have much wealth and be very successful in seeking true love.
  • Happy go lucky: We all know that the Japanese are of the opinion that a beckoning cat will also bring them good fortune and in many Japanese homes, the figure of a cat with his left paw raised has pride of place.    Japanese sailors have been known to take a tri-coloured cat (tortoiseshell) – known as the ‘Me-kay’ on their ships to bring good luck and safe travel.
  • Symbol of purity: Italian legend about the birth of Christ often mentioned that a pregnant cat who became a mother at the same time, and near the manger, was a symbol of purity of his birth.

(Joan Henderson is based in Australia and she has judged furry felines in many other countries including USA, Bermuda, Malaysia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Philippines and New Zealand.)

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