Black cats are just miniature panthers.
They are supple and lithe, with motions
that have the sinuous grace of dancers.
Don’t be deceived by the languid manner
which resembles a perpetual lethargy
that saps the strength of these felines
as they can pounce with sudden energy,
jump higher and outrun their provider.
They are so cuddly and full of charm;
it’s unbelievable that some people think
that they bring bad luck and do harm.
For this reputation, to a certain extent,
religion has to accept responsibility.
The Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock
bringing with them a devotional faith
but also an irrational fear of witchcraft
of which the black cat was the epitome.
In contrast, sailors attributed to them
supernatural powers to save lives at sea
and Egyptians were more appreciative
believing them to be magical creatures
who could bring good luck to the owners.
These pets were fed treats fit for royalty
and rich people dressed them in jewels.
But the level of devotion shown to them
went far beyond their owners’ affection
and they evolved from useful predators
to physical embodiments of the gods
and became symbols of divine protection.
© Luigi Pagano 2020
© ionicus 2022