Black cats don’t exactly have a good rep. Since we can remember, they’ve been associated with things like bad luck, witchcraft, and the spooky parts of Halloween. But where did this begin?
Back in the 14th century, black cats were actually worshiped as gods, but as time went on, their reputation quickly changed. During the Middle Ages, the black cat became affiliated with evil. This stemmed from them being nocturnal animals.
Witchcraft also played a big part of the cat’s evil image. Since being one with nature was an important part of witchcraft, it was common for them to have a cat as a companion. Cats are also nocturnal and roam the night, which lead to the belief that they were supernatural servants to witches. When the black cat was linked to the devil, it lead to many of them being killed during the Black Death pandemic (although the cats were actually helping to kill the rats that spread the plague). The term witchcraft has a negative connotation, but it actually means “craft of the wise.” When witches claimed to be able to perform magic, they were actually brewing special potions that helped heal the sick. That is when the Christian Church spread propaganda that their magical powers came from The Devil.
Others believed that cats were actually humans that committed bad deeds and were forced to return to the world and while it’s hard to imagine that anyone ever considered these beautiful animals to be evil, these beliefs ultimately lead to the superstitions people have of black cats, even to this day.