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 .
By Cathy Chang
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.
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mythology about the animal — don’t let it cross your path or some foreboding or foreshadowing of evil — and that’s an outdated superstition,” says Gail Buchwald, vice president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter in New York City.
Middle ages 中世紀
Ward off 避開