And the mysterious “luck” behind black cats
If you have been a fan of superheros, particularly Marvel Comics, then you certainly may have heard about Black Panther and Black Widow. But have you ever heard of Black Cat? Though not really a superhero, Black Cat is actually quite a popular character in the comics, being a frenemy and love interest of the spectacular Spider-Man. She may not have the ferociousness of a panther nor the deadliness of a venomous spider, but she definitely holds the “luck” of a black cat; or rather, the “bad luck” she brings to her foes.
What are black cats powers
As far as powers go, Black Cat not only has the flexibility and agility of a cat, but she also has a special ability called tychokinesis, which allows her to affect probability fields – in other words, she could produce “bad luck” for her enemies.
This means that she is subconsciously able to cause anyone in her immediate vicinity that she perceives as a threat to be susceptible to freak accidents, like guns jamming and exploding, or tripping on objects. This superpower originates from the common myth that a black cat brings bad luck when the cat crosses your path. If it crosses horizontally in front of you, then you best watch your head, as misfortune would soon befall on you.
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Bad luck powers
The superstition of black cats being bad luck dates back to when witches were prevalent in the Middle Ages of Europe. The witches in particular were thought to be devil worshipers and practitioners of the dark arts, whipping up spells and potions to curse those who have mistreated them. Back then, black cats have been associated with witches for centuries.
Many older women of that time who were accused of witchcraft and practicing black magic also had black cats as their companions, so they were believed to be the witch’s familiar.
Almost if not all bed-time stories would tell you that the witch is the antagonist of the story, so whenever you encounter a black cat, a witch (and your misfortune) isn’t too far behind. Aside from this belief, many also believed that the cats were the witches themselves, transformed so that they can prowl in the dead of night undisturbed.
A black cat crossed their path
There was even an old folklore about this myth that began circulating in the 16th century: in the 1560s in Lincolnshire, England, a father and son were travelling on a moonless night when suddenly a black cat crossed their path. They threw pebbles and rocks at the poor feline and watched it fled, injured, into the home of a woman who was suspected to be a witch.
When it was discovered that the lady walked out of the house limping and bruised the next day, people suspected that the black must have been the witch. And if one witch can transform into one, all of them can.
The folklore spread to the USA, and it was further firmly believed during the tragic Salem Witch Trials. To this day, black cats continued to be associated with witches, as you can see them together all over in pop culture and in Halloween decorations; the black feline riding comfortably on the witch’s flying broomstick.
The black cats weren’t always evil
Quite the contrary–over 5,000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians revered and even worshiped cats. They kept black cats in particular as house pets, as they believed that the goddess Bastet (also called as Bast) had a deep connection to black cats, as was commonly depicted with the head of a black cat. They were regarded so highly that they were even given funeral rights and buried them as they would to humans. The action of killing a cat was equivalent to killing a person; a person caught doing so would face the death penalty.
Common questions on black cats
Do black cats bring good luck?
As proven by the ancient Egyptians, the black cat is also a symbol of good fortune and prosperity. In fact, there seems to be more cultures that regard black cats as good omens than there are as bad omens. For example, sailors in the UK between the 17th and 18th century would keep cats on board their ships (parrots are more of a pirate’s thing), as the felines would take care of pesky rodents during long journeys. Many vessels then had what was called ship’s cats. The black cat in particular was a popular choice as it was believed to bring good luck. They must be careful though, because if the black cat walks or jumps off the ship, it will bring all the luck with it, making the ship sink on its next journey.
What does a black cat mean spiritually?
Particularly in the East, black cats can be seen as spiritual guardians. Instead of bringing bad luck as believed in the West, they are said to absorb the bad luck as they visit, taking the burden for themselves.
What if a black cat crosses your path?
First of all, don’t panic, and take a deep breath. A black cat crossing your path is seen as a bad omen, but not always. In Germany it’s believed that the cat must horizontally cross your path from right to left to cause bad luck. If it crosses from left to right, then you’re safe.
At the end of the day, a black cat has power over the realm of probabilities–or luck, for short. Whether it be good luck or bad luck, it’s up to you to take the risk. Marvel Comic’s Black Cat certainly brings out all the bad luck to those who stand in her way, but to her, it’s just another lucky day.