Mark and Brenda are a married couple living up in Canada, and they teamed up to give you something special to see/read this Sunday.
Mark Gordon Brown's Triond profile.
Black Cats and Superstitions
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B. Nelson was good enough to offer two articles this week
by B Nelson on Oct 02, 2009
We explore why black cats are associated with Halloween and address a few other superstitions about cats.
Black cats are associated with Halloween for a few reasons. Being black they have long be linked to witches and witchcraft. They were believed to be the companions of witches, their “Familiars”, their friends and helpers, and something the witch could turn into to avoid being caught in a human form. As such, during the witch trials many black cats were often burnt by fearful Christians, in fact likely more cats were killed than people. The Christians also had good reason to hate cats, they were often viewed as sacred beings to many earlier and pagan religions.
Witches, and so forth, never did torture, kill, sacrifice, or otherwise harm their black cats, as we are now frequently told. As their companions, why would they?
According to legend, in Lincolnshire, Great Britain, in the 1560’s a father and son were scared one dark night by a small creature running across their path. They threw stones at the animal and noticed an injured cat limp into the house of a woman who had been suspected of being a witch. The following day the woman was seen limping and with bruises about her. As such the idea that witches could take the shape of black cats took hold.
During the Salem witch hunts in America thousands of black cats were killed due to a suspected link to witches.
Paranoia had set in and many women, and cats, were burned at the stake, cats often being shut into baskets and thrown into the fire. In France thousands of cats were killed in this way until the 1630’s when King Louis XIII finally condemned the practice and put and end to it.
Now, because of their association with witches, black cats are commonly associated with Halloween. Often cut outs and pictures of them are put on peoples windows, often arched backs and glowing eyes.
Black cats are a bit more mysterious, they can sneak around in the shadows almost undetected. This makes them all the more spooky.
In many places black cats are held in superstition as bad luck. Particularly if it should cross ones path. These superstitions are common in North America and some European nations.
The tragic thing is that in our modern times people, whom you would think would be smart enough to hold superstitions as pure nonsense, still somehow see these cats as brining bad luck or misfortune.
There are always stories of concern about people torturing and sacrificing cats during October and particularly around Halloween. In all likelihood most of these are just urban legends, or of misguided individuals doing something because they ‘think’ it’s the cool thing do to, because it is well known that most people of alternative culture adore black cats and would not harm them.
Some Superstitions about Cats
* Chasing a black cat out of a home is bad luck, as the cat takes the good luck with it.
* In many places of the United Kingdom, seeing a white cat, particularly at night, or having a white cat cross your path, is considered bad luck.
* A cat who washes behind its ears will bring rain.
* If a cat washes its face in the front room, company is coming.
* If you kick a cat you will get rheumatism
Cats who are Good Luck
* On the Yorkshire coast of Britain, black cats kept in fishermen’s home will bring his safe return.
* A cat at a wedding brings good luck.
* A cat sneezing is good luck.
* In Japan a cat with its left paw raised is considered lucky, and is the shape of many piggy banks as the result.
Cats with Gas
B.Nelson's Triond profile.
Pet owners often struggle when their pets have gas problems. Rest assured, pet flatulence is a problem that is fixable. The most common cause is food. Know what to watch for.
by B Nelson January 16, 2008, in Cats
Some gas is normal. If the problem is noticeable then there is probably more to it. The first thing to check is that the cat is on good food. Many commercial cat foods contain a lot of filler and very little actual meat. The filler is hard on your cats digestive system. When a food contains a lot of filler, the cat must eat a lot more food to get is proper level of nutrition. Another problem is the fat content in the food. Lower quality foods uses a bit of a trick. They use fat to give the cats a shiny coat, because most owners think a shiny coat = a healthy cat = good food. But the fat is hard on the kitties tummy. Coupled by the fact he or she has to eat more food, and eats more hard to digest filler (corn), and you have a problem
A simple way of checking for filler is looking at the ingredient list on your food. If corn is the first ingredient, or anything other than an actual meat, then chances are that is your problem. Remember cats are carnivores. The first ingredient in a cat food should always be a meat source, Chicken meal, lamb meal, or turkey meal, being the best. If your cat food contains any By-Products you can be certain it is low quality food. By-Products are often the indigestible beaks, feet, and feathers. If you switch your cat slowly to a better quality food you should notice less of a problem, and you will have less mess in the litter box as a bonus too.
Also look for the ingredient Yucca, which is an ingredient for odor control. Typically foods purchased at grocery stores are not high quality foods. Your best place to look for better quality foods are the independent stores, groomers or even livestock feed stores. Read the ingredient list for yourself because all foods tell you they are good.
Feeding a cat a food that is too rich for it may also be a problem. This could be if you are feeding kitten food to an adult cat, or feeding too much people food to the cat. Milk can contribute to these problems as well, after all most cats are lactose intolerant. Cats should really never be given any dairy products.
It is a good idea to have a gassy cat dewormed by a veterinarian. Parasites contribute to intestinal issues, and over the counter worming products do not kill all types of worms. Parasites are more of a problem in cats allowed outdoors to catch mice, or who are exposed to other kitties.
If you cannot find a problem with your pets diet you should have a vet check him or her. Some internal problems are quite serious and you should make sure this is not a symptom of a bigger health issue. As a final note I remember hearing of a cat with gas so bad his owners named him Chicago… The windy kitty.
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