Cats In The Spirit of Things!
Every October similar alerts are published concerning the abuse of black cats (and other animals) at Halloween, but thankfully every year more and more of the good animal protectionists are actually getting it right. Unfortunately, some 'myths' about cats and their association with Witches and Witchcraft still persist.
Cats were -and still are- regarded as magical creatures throughout the ages. The Egyptians revered the cat as an aspect of the goddess, Bast, and they mummified cats with all the ritual, pomp and circumstance that befitted such regal animals. Cats are depicted as drawing the heavenly chariots of various gods and goddesses in other cultural myths as well.
Possibly because of their decidedly nocturnal habits, felines have become associated with the night, stealth and mystery. Who knows where the supposedly domesticated cat wanders in the night, what he/she is up to and why they seem to look so satisfied when they stroll back into the house in the morning? Quite frankly, they have steadfastly refused to answer any questions posed to them on the subject. This code of silence has caused the cat some historical hard knocks.
During the Inquisitions or "Burning Times' of the witchcraft trials and persecutions, cats were often tortured and killed along with the accused "witches." It was thought that witches could change into (shape-shift) cats or that cats could be possessed by evil spirits. The howl of a cat on the prowl has undoubtedly frightened more than one nocturnal traveler on a darkened footpath and the fact that cats seem to delight in sneaking up on folks hasn't helped their public relations image one bit either.
The most prevalent fallacy connecting Witches, cats and Halloween is, of course, the 'animal sacrifice' myth-namely that it is the Witches that use cats for sacrifices or other abusive rituals. The truth lies in the opposite direction.
It was the superstitious clerics and witch-hunters of the past-and present-that would toss a cat into the same fire as the Witch. It was the very real working and affectionate bond between cat and Witch that drew the suspicions of those who sought 'devils' everywhere and so could find them anywhere. Sad to say, that superstitious and paranoid mindset as survived in some religious faiths right up to the dawn of the twenty-first century.
Are there people out there who really do abuse cats and other animals? Yes, there are, but they are not Witches or Wiccans. The 'mysterious cults' that are mentioned (but are never really identified) in news articles about Halloween cat-related horrors are actually following in the footsteps of Christian clerics rather than pagan practitioners if they are using or abusing the innocent cat in some sort of bizarre sacrificial ritual setting. Cat burnings were a regular past time in
Here is my Halloween black cat!
What I do is kick them in the pants with a diamond buckled shoe!