Can you guess by the title what this post is about? KITTEHS! Woo! …Ahem. Cats and vampires, more specifically how cats are associated with vampires.
Cats have been considered dark and mystifying for ages – back in the day some believed cats were direct links to evil, that they were demonic servants. And now during Halloween you see pictures of black cats all over, whether their baring their fangs or at the side of an evil witch as her familiar. To add to that you have a handful of cat superstitions, like how crossing the path of a black cat is bad luck. Worshipped or feared, cats have a place in the world of myth and mystery.
Let’s take a trip to the past, during the famous witch trials in Europe it wasn’t just innocent humans that were burned, but also cats that the persecutors thought had ties to these supposed witches. Seriously, people actually executed cats. What does this have to do with vampires? Well all this witch trial/cat familiars stuff just fueled the paranoia surrounding cats. So once the vampire hysteria hit in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries cats already had a bad rap, so people started to think that not only were cats evil beasts that had dealings with witches, but also with vampires. People then thought vampires were able to take the form of felines, so they made sure to keep away from all cats. Not only that but they made sure to keep cats from jumping over corpses for they believed a cat jumping over a dead body caused the corpse to become a vampire. They also felt that this power to create a vampire could be reversed, so they’d kill a cat and lay it on their doorstep in hopes that no vampire would be able to cross the cat and enter the home. Insane right?
It wasn’t just Europe that had their ideas on vampires and cats but also Asia. I already mentioned the cat of Nabeshima here, but there was more than just that. The people there thought that a hair on a cat’s tail had special powers, powers that brought back the soul of someone dead or dying, returning them to life. This myth is similar to that of the European’s myth of a cat jumping over a corpse. Some other vampire cats were the Malaysian bajang and the chordewa.
Next time you take a look at your sweet little kitty think; while they’re probably thinking about taking a nap, they just might be plotting to drain you dry as you sleep.
Moonlight (aka Amanda) loves to write about, read about and learn about everything pertaining to vampires. You will most likely find her huddled over a book of vampire folklore with coffee in hand. Touch her coffee and she may bite you (and not in the fun way).