Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Good Luck vs. Bad Luck

I stopped at Balham station instead of Tooting Bec station yesterday. I keep reading how it's good to stop a station before and walk a bit more. Good for your health... good for your body. And I have noticed that I've put on a bit (to say mildly) of weight and walking would be a good and not too strenuous exercise.

So on the way home I stopped at a shop and bought some bananas... to make muffins!! Hey... I think I deserve a reward for doing something good! Errrr... see the above paragraph.

Black CatAnyway, as I was half way up Eatonville Road getting closer to home, I saw a black cat. Of course I can't help myself and stroked it and when I wanted to make my way, it crossed my path. And I thought to myself, is that good luck or bad luck?

Plus, since today is the 6th of June 2006, i.e. 666 so they say, I thought it's a fitting post to put up to comemorate the occasion.

The thing is, I've always been confused beacause on one end I was told that black cats are a symbol of bad luck and then I go in a shop and see a black cat on a good luck card, meaning that they are a symbol of good luck. Which one is it then?

Time to do some research I think...

I sat at work and asked a few people who walked through the door of my office. Sue said it's bad luck for a cat to cross you path. Pat said it's good luck (2 black cat crossed the path of her car the other day, but she didn't win the lottery!! Maybe it doesn't work when you're in a car). I asked Chris (a Professor in the Department) to get the Greek perspective of things, said it's REALLY bad luck. Milla, my Swedish/Russian office mate said NO NO NO it's not good!!! I wonder what Bernardo the Brazilian would say... BAD LUCK! Kathy came in and told me it's definitely GOOD LUCK!

With those conflicting answers, I turned to the world... the worldwide web that is. OK, let's search for:



Found this page called the Black Cats Folklore. Hmmmmmmm... doesn't sound very good for the black cats apart from:

The Celts thought black cats were reincarnated beings able to divine in the future.

OK... another site I found about black cats and superstitions has loads of things jumbled up! This is what I've learnt:

  • If a black cat crosses your path, you will have GOOD LUCK. But for this to happen, you must politely greet the cat OR stroke it 3 times to bring the good luck.
  • If a black cat crosses your path, you will have BAD LUCK. To ward off the adversity, reverse your trail by 12 steps.
  • King Charles I of England owned a black cat and believed so much on its GOOD LUCK that he was so scared of losing it. It was guarded 24/7! Unfortunately, and this is where I think the black cat good luck started, when the cat fell ill and died, the next day Oliver Cromwell had King Charles I arrested, taken to the scaffold and beheaded!!!
  • Cats (not just black) are thought to have 9 lives, so aligned with the symbolism of 9, a lucky number. GOOD LUCK
  • Fishermen's wives kept black cats while their husbands are at sea as they believe that the black cats will prevent danger happening to their husbands and these cats are considered valuable that they often get stolen. GOOD LUCK
  • Not only is it BAD LUCK to meet a black cat at midnight (this is deem to meet Satan himself), it is also BAD LUCK to have 13 cats in a theatre.... hmmm... didn't say black here.
  • If a black cat passes in front of you by moonlight, it foretells death by an epidemic! BAD LUCK
  • I like this one... If a black cat comes into a house or a shop, it is considered to be a very lucky sign! note to self... buy lottery ticket if this happens! And that cat should never be chased away as it might take the luck out of the house or ship... GOOD LUCK
  • HAH!!! I've found now the cause of bad luck being stuck to black cats! In 1233, Pope Gregory IX denounced black cats as Satanic! Thousand of cats were burnt alive! And guess what... this lead to an increase of the rat population! The rats decimated thd food and carried disease and played their part in the Great Plague!

I also checked out Wikipedia which confirms that all across Europe, a black cat crossing your path was considered good luck until the church associate them with witches. So countries which were affected by the witch hunts, black cats became bad luck. And since Britain was not affected, it remains to be lucky over here... therefore, my conclusion, since I'm in Britain, it is lucky to have a black cat to cross my path! And it's considered lucky in Australia too *wink*

Oh... and Jules, to kill a cat brings complete misfortune. I know you're not superstitious... but think about it!


Anonymous ayu said...

that cat nampak garang la

6/07/2006 02:15:00 am  
Blogger yati said...

ayu - dia masa tu mengiau. nampak je garang tapi manja! time lain, it just wouldn't stand still.

6/07/2006 08:54:00 am  

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