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Cats are mysterious animals shrouded in superstition

Although not everyone believes in superstition, when a black cat runs across the road, many of us spit over our shoulder.The cat is like no other animal, and is shrouded in a myriad of superstitions that have been around for a long time. Although cats were worshipped by the ancient Egyptians, they were not always successful – cats (especially black ones) were later used in various magic ceremonies and for the production of medicines.Today, superstitions are increasingly disregarded – no matter what colour cat is kept in the house, it can bring a lot of joy, and according to scientists, such pets are beneficial to health.

Cat cruelty – death penalty

The first images of cats were found in Egypt – it is believed that these drawings have survived since 1800 BC. At that time, cats were highly revered in Egypt, and those who attempted to harm a cat were subject to the death penalty. The sun god Ra was often depicted as a cat, while the cat goddess Bastet symbolised joy, merriment and music. A temple was established in honour of this goddess, and dead cats were buried near it. Cats were considered a symbol of eternity, as they often curl up into a ball when sleeping, with their tail connected to their head. Cats with different coloured eyes were held in the highest esteem.

Cats – the seed of evil

Anything that is difficult to explain is somewhat disturbing, so it is no wonder that cats’ ability to see in the dark has not gone unnoticed. The Christian church referred to cats as a devilish creature because they undoubtedly have satanic abilities. Cat breeders were separated from the church – although cats helped to scare away rodents, it was forbidden for upright Christians to breed such creatures. Of course, in the Middle Ages it was not only cats that were distrusted, but also other animals – dogs, mice, toads, not to mention bats… However, cats were the most hated. Although the bans on keeping cats were very strict, there were exceptions. If you could see a bright letter M on the cat’s forehead, you could keep it in your house, because it was a descendant of the holy virgin Mary’s cat (it is said that St Mary had one).

It’s bad for the black cat everywhere..

You may remember the song about the black cat that everyone avoided. However, this is not the worst thing that can happen to a black cat – in the Middle Ages, such cats were practically exterminated. In the 12th century, rumours began to circulate that the organs of the black cat could be used to make medicines for many diseases. It was believed that the tail of a black cat buried under the doorstep of a house could help to protect the house from disease and misfortune, and that an ointment made from the head of a black cat could cure blindness. There were not a few recipes for “medicines” using black cats: three drops of a black cat’s blood was thought to help eradicate warts, and water bathed in a black cat could absorb various diseases. Sometimes, for the production of various medicines they had to be brutally tortured (put in an anthill or heated in a sauna until all that was left of the cat were the bones etc.) Black cats also suffered when black magic rituals were performed – they were usually chosen from the body parts of black cats or bats.

Exorcising a cat – summoning misfortune

In the 19th century, sailors believed that black cats could guarantee good luck. So sometimes it was simply a case of stealing a black cat to make the voyage even bolder. It was believed that a cat thrown off a ship could spell disaster, so such female passengers were even highly desirable. If the ship was sinking

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