The history of the black cat as an evil symbol originates in ancient Babylonian and Hebrew mythology, which often portrayed them coiled up like another symbol of evil, the serpent. Is it any wonder, then, that the black cat should be associated with witchcraft as well?
The black cat was once thought of as a familiar of witches and some cultures believed that witches could change into cats. Some believed that witches could make this witch to cat transformation nine times, which may be the reason cats are still said to have nine lives.
Greek mythology also offers ancient evidence of the black cat’s association to evil. In Greek mythology a woman named Galenthias was changed into a cat and became a priestess at the temple of Hecate, the “Dark Mother”. Hecate was also known as the Mother of Witchcraft.
There are folk tales about black cats all around the world. The Celtic people believed the black cat was a reincarnated being capable of divining the future. Germans of the Middle Ages believed that a black cat was an omen for death if it jumped on the bed of an ill person. The Normans thought that if a black cat crossed your path in the moonlight, you were destined to die in an epidemic. The Chinese believed that black cats could foretell poverty and sickness. In Finland, the black cat was thought to carry dead souls to the next world. In India, to liberate a reincarnated soul, a black cat was thrown into a furnace. Ignorance breeds superstition, and the superstition surrounding the black cat is nearly as rampant as the paganism of today.
Black cats, of themselves, are not evil, in fact being a creation of God, they make good pets and do not deserve to be associated with this evil holiday.