Saturday, May 1, 2010

Cat superstitions

There are many superstitions around the globe that involve our beloved felines. Different countries, different communities have different superstitions.

The most common cat superstition alive in the western culture today is: if a black cat crosses your path, it is considered bad luck. Interestingly, in most other cultures, the black cat is a prized possession, and owning one is said to bring the owner good luck.

Weather related superstitions. Can cats predict the weather?
  • In Western Europe it is widely believed that if a cat washes over its ears, it is a sign of rain.
  • When cats rush about wildly, clawing at curtains and cushions, it means that wind is coming.
  • When cats sit with their back to the fire, look out for frost or a storm.
  • If a cat washes behind its ears, rain is coming.
  • A cat sleeping with all four paws tucked under means old weather ahead.
  • If cats run around wildly, then expect a wind to blow up.
Cats and ... sailing
Sailors believe that if a ship's cat mews and appears to be cross, they will face a hard voyage - but if it is bright and lively, there will be a brisk "following" wind. It used to be said that a contrary wind at sea could be raised by shutting a cat in a canister. Throwing a cat overboard resulted in an immediate storm.

Various legents and beliefs
- A strange black cat on your porch brings prosperity. ~Scottish superstition
- A cat sneezing is a good omen for everyone who hears it. ~Italian superstition
- It is bad luck to cross a stream carrying a cat. ~French superstition
- When moving to a new home, always put the cat through the window instead of the door, so that it will not leave. ~American superstition
- When you see a one-eyed cat, spit on your thumb, stamp it in the palm of your hand, and make a wish. The wish will come true. ~American superstition

- In Normandy, seeing a tortoiseshell cat foretells death by accident.
- English schoolchildren believe seeing a white cat on the way to school is sure to bring trouble. To avert bad luck, they must either spit, or turn around completely and make the sign of the cross.
- In the Netherlands, cats were not allowed in rooms where private family discussions were going on. The Dutch believed that cats would definitely spread gossips around the town.
- It is said that in the southern regions of France, if a young unmarried girl accidentally steps on a cat's tail, she will have to wait twelve months before she finds a husband.

- If a cat sneezes near the bride-to-be on the morning of the wedding, she will have a happy life.
- Never leave a cat alone with an infant. The cat will suck the breath right out of the child.
- If a cat leaves home while a person is sick and cannot be coaxed back, the person will die.
- If you wake up in the morning and see cats playing, the rest of the day will be wasted.
- To meet a cat at midnight is to meet Satan, himself.
- Never kick a cat or you will get rheumatism; never drown one or the devil will get you.
- Tortoiseshell cats were believed to be able to see into the future and could give the gift to a lucky child in the household.

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