Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

October 27 – Black Cat Day

Black Cat crossing

Apparently, this is officially Black Cat Day – October 27.

Nothing is quite as elegant as a black cat – like a miniature Amazonian jaguar, they doze atop the highest point in the area, waking for several hours daily to prowl around hunting for a tasty morsel. But black cats and kittens are often overlooked when animal shelters are looking for new homes, and can be at the shelter much longer than they should be. So why is this?

Cats in ancient Egypt were revered highly, partly due to their ability to combat vermin such as mice, rats. Cats of royalty were known to be dressed in golden jewellery and were allowed to eat right off their owners’ plates. The goddess of warfare was a woman with the head of a cat named Bastet.

However, now it is common for some people to see black cats as unlucky or mischievous, but not everyone knows why. In Celtic mythology, it was believed that fairies could take the form of black cats, and therefore their arrival to a home or village was seen as sign of good luck. Unfortunately, the Pilgrims that came after them were devoutly religious and fearful of anything remotely related to the pagan beliefs of their ancestors, and it was because of that fear that black cats went from being seen as the vessels of fairies to the vessels of witches and demons. At that time it became common practice to severely punish those who kept black cats as pets, and even kill the animals themselves.

Although these days nobody really believes black cats are witches or demons in disguise anymore, they are still often seen as signs of bad luck by many people in the West.

I have to say that one or two black cats have stayed with me, and these myths could not be further from the truth, as they were amongst the softest, most placid, and appreciative cats that I’ve come across.

If you have a cat, especially a black one, today is the day to make it feel extra special. We are all so busy with our lives that we often forget to show our pets some of the love they give us on a daily basis. So get your cat a new toy or a tasty treat and spend the afternoon playing tug-of-war or rubbing their belly – nobody knows how to enjoy the little things in life like animals do.

And if you are visiting a shelter for a new friend, bear in mind that the black cats and kittens are reported to be the ones that are often passed over – for no good reason.

 

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October 27, 2015 - Posted by | Civilian | , ,

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