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Superstition. By Cathy Chang. Article #1. Black cats have a bad name in many countries, but nowhere more so than Italy, where a papal edict in the middle ages declared they were instruments of the devil. Black cats were thrown into the fires to join witches burned at the stake .

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superstition

Superstition

By Cathy Chang

article 1
Article #1

Black cats have a bad name in many countries, but nowhere more so than Italy, where a papal edict in the middle ages declared they were instruments of the devil. Black cats were thrown into the fires to join witches burned at the stake.

The Italian Association for the Defense of Animals and the Environment (AIDAA) estimates 60,000 were killed last year, to ward off bad luck but also for use in satanic rites and in cosmetics laboratories where black fur gives the best results.

The group has set up 200 information points in towns and cities around Italy, where passers-by will be given literature on black cats, asked to sign a petition and urged to adopt one of the 5,000 in cat refuges.

AIDAA has also sent a letter to Pope Benedict, a well known cat lover.

questions
Questions
  • What is your attitude towards black cats?
  • Do you see this kind of attitude towards black cats in Taiwan?
    • From movies, books, etc.
  • Why do you think that black cats are considered evil?
  • Are there any more superstitions about animals?
  • Are there any superstitions that you believe in?
article 2
Article #2

Many shelters around the country is prohibiting black cat adoptions from Oct. 28 to Nov. 2, fearing the animals could be mistreated in Halloween pranks — or worse, sacrificed in some satanic ritual.

Some animal experts say the practice does more to hurt animals than protect them by limiting the times that they can be adopted.

“Behaviorally, there’s no difference from the color of the cat. It’s tied into this whole mythology about the animal — don’t let it cross your path or some foreboding or foreshadowing of evil — and that’s an outdated superstition,” says Gail Buchwald, vice president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter in New York City.

questions6
Questions
  • Do you feel that the adoption of black cats should be banned during Halloween?
  • Do people still use animal sacrifices nowadays?
    • Like killing chickens on certain days to give to the gods?
  • Can you think of other animals that are linked to certain festivals or celebrations?
vocabulary
Papal edict 教皇的勒令

Middle ages 中世紀

Instruments 手段,工具

Stake 火刑柱

Association 協會

Defense 防禦,保衛,防護

Estimates 估計,估量

Ward off 避開

Satanic rites撒旦的祭禮

Cosmetics 化妝,美容品

Laboratories 化學工廠

Passers-by 過路人

Petition 請願書

Adopt 收養

Refuges 收容所

Pope 羅馬教皇

Shelters 避難所

Prohibiting 禁止

Mistreated 虐待

Pranks 惡作劇

Sacrificed 牲禮,祭品;獻祭

Ritual 儀式的舉行

Experts 專家

Practice 實行,實施,實踐

Limiting 限制

Behaviorally 行為,舉止;態度

Mythology 神話

Foreboding 不祥的預感

Foreshadowing 預兆

Outdated 過時的

Prevention 預防,防止;阻止,妨礙

Vocabulary
references
References
  • Idaho animal shelter halts black cat adoptions
    • http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15459377/
  • Italy's "black cat day" aims to halt killings
    • http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=3880570