The Middle Ages It seems that the association between bad luck and black cats dates all the way back to the middle of the fourteenth century. It’s not known exactly how and why cats became associated with the Devil in the Middle Ages, but the belief was so persistent that they were all but exterminated during the Black Death pandemic around 1348 CE. The Age of Witchcraft Blame black magic. Feline Movement There’s also plenty of folklore and legend associated with the actual movements of black cats. In many of the European countries where the felines are still seen as bad luck, it’s an extra bad omen when a black cat actually crosses your path. However, the Germans seem to have lightened up this piece of legend, believing that a cat that crosses from right to left is bad news, while one that moves left to right signals good things ahead. Superstitious gamblers also adhere to the cross-path bad news brigade—if a black cat crosses a gambler’s path while they are heading out to gamble, they are meant to turn back. Even some pirates subscribed to movement-based beliefs, holding fast to the idea that if a black cat moves towards you, that’s bad luck, but a cat moving away from you means good news.
Bombay breed is likely the kind of cat you picture most often when you imagine a classic black cat. Most black cats also come with golden yellow eyes, thanks to the high melanin pigment content in their bodies. The belief in the power of black cats is so strong that they’re still given as gifts to brides in the English Midlands in order to help bless new nuptials. It does seem that the influence of the Egyptians and their love for cats held over in some European cultures. Sailors and their wives alike believed in the good luck power of the black cat, with some fishermen keeping such cats on board while their women kept black cats at home for a double dose of fortune. The Japanese also honor black cats as symbols of good luck, and they are viewed as particularly important to single women, as having a black cat is believed to lure in many fine suitors. Up in Russia, all cats are viewed as lucky and have been for centuries.
No member of catkind is more maligned than the black cat. IN SOME CULTURES, BLACK CATS ARE GOOD LUCK. They may have a less-than-stellar reputation in some areas of the world, but there are plenty of places where black cats aren’t bad luck at all. Germany and one crosses your path from right to left, good things are on the horizon. Not only were cats welcome aboard British vessels to hunt mice, but sailors generally thought a black cat in particular would bring good luck and ensure a safe return home. THERE IS NO ONE BLACK CAT BREED. 22 different breeds that can have solid black coats—including the Norwegian Forest Cat, Japanese Bobtail, and Scottish Fold—but the Bombay breed is what most people picture: a copper-eyed, all-black shorthair. BLACK CATS ARE AS EASILY ADOPTED AS CATS OF OTHER COLORS. It’s common to think that black cats in shelters are the last in line to find their forever homes, but a recent survey from the ASPCA suggests otherwise.
Although euthanasia numbers for black cats were some of the highest, their total number of adoptions was the highest of any hue as well. A black cat’s color all boils down to a genetic quirk. THE GENE THAT CAUSES BLACK FUR MIGHT MAKE THESE FELINES RESISTANT TO DISEASE. Even though their coloring is what gives them a bad reputation, these felines may be getting the last laugh after all. The mutation that causes a cat’s fur to be black is in the same genetic family as genes known to give humans resistance to diseases like HIV. YOU CAN VISIT A CAT CAFE DEVOTED TO BLACK CATS. Step through the doors of Nekobiyaka in Himeji, Japan and get ready for your wildest cat lady dreams to come true. Each of Nekobiyaka’s identical-looking black cats wears a different colored bandana to resolve any catastrophic mix-ups. THEY’RE DIFFICULT TO PHOTOGRAPH—BUT IT CAN BE DONE.
The modern-day conundrum black cat owners face isn’t bad luck, but bad lighting. In a world filled with people sharing photos of their pets on Instagram, black cats can end up looking like a dark blob in photos. Technically, there is no such thing as a black panther—it’s a term used for any big black cat. What we call black panthers are in fact jaguars or leopards and yes, they have spots, too. This article originally ran in 2016. Summer is the perfect time to channel your inner sloth. Even if you don’t plan on sleeping 15 to 20 hours a day, you can take inspiration from the animal’s lifestyle and plan to move as little as possible. It’s hard not to feel lazy when you’re being hugged by a giant inflatable sloth. This floating pool chair is 50 inches long, 40 inches tall, and 36 inches wide, with two “arms” to support you as you lounge in the water.
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