It seems that we only really talk about black cats around Halloween, but did you know that August 17th is actually National Black Cat Appreciation Day? It’s a day to cherish the black cats in our community a little extra and to dismantle the stereotypes that they are put up against. Since there is a good deal of superstition and folklore surrounding not just black cats, but our dogs too, we thought we would take a minute to learn more about the origins of these stories!
Who Ever Said Cats Were Unlucky?
It is not fully known where the bad omen of black cats originates from, but it is thought to have stemmed from medieval times. Black fur was generally seen as symbolic of death, so black cats developed their bad rep. It was thought that if a black cat sat on the bed of someone who was ill, they were certain to die.
Another possible origin is from Greek mythology. It is said that the Hecate, the Goddess of witchcraft, had a black cat as an assistant and companion. Black cats have since gone on to become a symbol of witchcraft and evil. The most common modern superstition is that it is bad luck if a black cat crosses your path.
However, black cats are not seen as bad luck around the world!
In Japan, black cats are considered to be a sign of good luck. In Scotland, it’s believed that you will thrive if a black cat comes to your home. And in the British Isles, the wives of fishermen often kept black cats because it was believed these feline friends would protect their husbands out on the water!
Today we know that black cats are certainly not bad luck! Maybe you once had a black cat cross your path and then you had a properly bad day, but those events are very likely unrelated. Still, black cats are less likely to be adopted today because of these ancient superstitions. When we learn the origins of these perspectives and learn how diverse they are around the world, it enables people to dismantle their own prejudices against groups of furry friends and people in our communities. Love thy neighbour and love thy neighbourhood black cat!!
Cats aren’t the only household creatures that carry superstitions, your pups do too! In Europe, it is believed to be terrible luck if a dog walks in between two people. For example, if a dog walks between a married couple, they will (apparently) certainly divorce.
Another interesting belief is that our four-legged friends can see ghosts. People think that our cats and dogs possess highly advanced senses which can pick up on things that we humans cannot, including the supernatural. Have you ever noticed your cat staring intently into the dark nothingness? Or your dog barking at the corner of a room? While it is true that our pets have some fine-tuned senses, it’s more likely they are picking up on the faintest of sounds or smells, not the supernatural!
One big “superstition” or more myth in the dog world is that certain breeds have inherited behaviours that are impossible to train and/or work around. Common examples would be that all bully breeds are aggressive and dangerous or that chihuahuas are all yappy and nippy. Being dog walkers in Edmonton, we know firsthand that this is not the case! Certain breeds may be more predisposed to different types of behaviour, but that does not mean that all dogs will exhibit them or that they can’t be overcome.
at Dog Jogs we don’t buy into any superstitions about your beloved animals, we just think they are all so dang cute and love them all the same. However, one thing we do believe is that when you use Dog Jogs services, good luck will most surely come your way! Click here to learn more about our totally lucky services.