You probably know this one superstition. If you see a black cat cross a road, you better turn back because that's bad luck.
But why? A lot of us may ask why black cats are getting all the beef about bad luck. But apparently, there's more than meets the eye.
A lot of sources point towards the Middle Ages as the real source of this debacle. Although the exact point in time is unknown, the belief became so powerful that they were almost exterminated during the Black Plague.
Ironically, this worsened he situation. Since rodents were the ones responsible for spreading the plague
, the predators are too few to keep them out.
Interestingly, Scottish folklore includes a fairy known as the Cat Sith, which is giant black cat that can steal a dead person's soul. This was too prevalent that it created a "night-and-day" watch called the Late Wake to guard the bodies. The Scottish even tried scaring away the black cats.
A bit too far
But the rumors got really freaky
by the time Witchcraft became (un)popular with a lot of people before. A lot of people presume witches take in alley cats as pets. When this concept of "companionship" turned into "familiar," witches are now believed to be able to transform into cats.
They were even real parts of the Salem Witch Trials. Now black cats became a classic part of a witch's style.
Some even associate the movement of cats with bad luck. This is where the iconic black cats movement is associated from. However, it has an interesting twist. Right to left means bad news, left to right means good news.
Superstitious gamblers adhere to this type of debate, and even pirates!
But scientifically speaking, black pigmentation isn't limited to specific breeds. However, the Bombay breeds are most likely the black cats we imagine.
Interestingly, the superstitions don't always point towards bad luck. In Japan, black cats are considered good luck, especially to single women. In Egyptians, cats are almost revered. And most especially, in Great Britain, black cats are seen to be bringers of mystic luck.
Source: Mental Floss