Monday, January 16, 2012

Cat Superstitions

A cat is very often kept as a lucky mascot in the theatre and disaster strikes any actor who dares to kick it!

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.

A cat sneezing is a good omen for everyone who hears it. ~Italian superstition

If a cat washes behind its ears, rain is coming. ~English superstition

A cat sleeping with all four paws tucked under means old weather ahead. ~English superstition

It is bad luck to cross a stream carrying a cat. ~French superstition

Never kick a cat or you will get rheumatism; never drown one or the devil will get you.

Throughout the world it is considered to be bad luck to mistreat a cat. This worldwide respect for the cat is probably rooted in those ancient religions in which the cat was a sacred animal and where retribution would befall those who harmed it.

In Scotland in 1590, the witch John Fian and other members of his coven, were charged with having raised or attempted to raise a storm, so as to drown King James VI of Scotland (and the First of England) then returning from Denmark. Fian and his accomplices used cats, by flinging them into the sea, to effect their devilish purpose.

In what was known as Bohemia, in western Czechoslovakia, the cat is regarded as a symbol of fertility and one buried in a field of grain will guarantee a good harvest.

The Japanese prefer their own native short-tailed cat - the Japanese Bobtail - because they are less likely to bewitch humans. Japanese sailors have long taken tricoloured or me'kay cats on their ships to bring them good luck. The figure of a cat with its left paw raised is commonly seen in gift shops in that country, where they are sold as souvenirs. It is believed that the beckoning cat brings good fortune to its owner.

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. No sailor would dream of doing this, however, since it was considered good luck to have a cat on board.

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.

A celtic belief was that kittens born in May were badly behaved and troublesome. In Celtic mythology, the month of May was a time of ill-omen.

Occult powers are often attributed to cats. It is said that they also have the power of hypnotism. A cat with three different hues in its coat protect one against fire and fever.

An American hill country superstition says that a cat can decide whether or not a girl should get married. The debating bride-to-be takes three hairs from the cat's tail and wraps them in paper, which she then places under her door step. If in the morning, the cat hairs are arranged in a Y pattern, the answer is Yes,but if the hairs form the letter N, the answer is no.

It is said that to dream of cats is unfavourable as this denotes treachery. In Tasseography - fortune-telling by tea leaves - a cat signifies false friends and deceit; someone lies in treacherous ambush, probably a false friend.

If the household cat sneezes near the bride on her wedding morning, the marriage will be a happy one.

When a cat washes its face in the parlour, company can be expected.

It is said that a cat looking out of the window is looking for rain.

In America, black and white and also grey cats are considered to be lucky.

It is unlikely to hear a cat crying before setting off on a journey. If this happens, return and find out what it wants.

No cat which has been bought will ever be any good at catching mice.

Indonesians and Malays believe that if you wash your cat it will bring rain.

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.