Thursday, January 17, 2008
Lucky Black Cats!
Those of us who are fortunate enough to share our lives with a black cat (or three or four, hehe) know that contrary to popular belief, they are not unlucky in the least. In fact, in many countries black cats are considered VERY lucky. :)
In England and Australia, if a black cat crosses your path, it brings good luck. Fisherman's wives kept black cats in the house, believing that they offered protection to their husbands, who were out to sea. And in the early seventeenth century, King Charles I kept a black cat he considered so lucky he ordered his guards to watch the cat 'round the clock. The day following the cat's death due to illness was the day the king was arrested (and subsequently tried for high treason and beheaded.).....Interesting stuff.....
So why do black cats have such a bad rep here in the States? I'm guessing it has something to with the old belief that they are witch's familiars (and what's wrong with that anyway, lol?) or with the old interpretation of the color black as night, or evil....Which has unfortunately resulted in some awful abuse, and also makes adoption of these beautiful creatures more difficult. When we adopted our Merlin and his brother Arthur through the Catworks organization in Reading, PA, we were told that black cats are the hardest to find homes for.
At any rate, as one of many people out to change the black cat's image to a *lucky* one, I just LOVE some of the old English charms associated with them. The piece above is bordered by a verse which is supposed to be repeated on the occasion of a black cat crossing your path, while stroking the cat three times. Look for another black cat charm piece to be completed soon too, and yet another with one of my favorite poems....
And while we're on the subject of cats, I have to give a shout to ginger cats as well....Look for a piece inspired our big boy Arthur to appear in the coming weeks too. :)
A few more Black Cat links:
EHAG, wherein lies some of the most wonderful black cat art on the net.
Black cat lover and collector Lyndy Ward, who's writing a book on the subject.
Whimsical black cat art from Becky Federico.