Wednesday, March 25, 2015

American Bombay Cats and Folklore

American Bombay Cat (Creative Commons photo from Wikipedia)

If you follow my blog you know that my 3 pets are Siamese cats .  I have done a previous blog about one of my cats Lucy.  Lucy is my main jewelry assistant who is in charge of quality control.  He loves to lay on my jewelry props when I am photographing. There is sun where I photograph so naturally it is a favorite spot of his. 

My daughter acquired my love for the Siamese breed and had 2 Siamese cats who were Lucy's brothers.  Recently, one of the brothers passed away and she got a black rescue kitten. I have learned a lot about black cats since then and I am becoming a huge fan of them.

The Cat Fanciers' Association recognizes 22 cat breeds that can come with solid black coats.The Bombay breed is exclusively black.  Their high melanin pigment content causes most black cats to have yellow  eyes.  My daughter's cat is a Bombay cat.

There is lots of  folklore surrounding black cats.  It varies from culture to culture. Some of the folk lore has positive connotations.  The Scots believe that a strange black cat's arrival to the home signifies prosperity. In Celtic mythology, a fairy known as the Cat Sìth takes the form of a black cat. Black cats are also considered good luck in Japan.  The supernatural powers ascribed to black cats were sometimes viewed positively, for example sailors with a "ship's cat" would want a black one because it would bring good luck.  Sometimes, fishermen's wives would keep black cats at home too, in the hope that they would be able to use their influence to protect their husbands at sea  The view of black cats being favorable creatures is attributed specifically to the Egyptian goddess Bast (or Bastet), the cat goddess. Egyptian households believed they could gain favor from Bastet by hosting black cats in their household. 
 Cat Sìth from John Dickson Batten - More English Fairy Tales, Jacobs, J., New York: G. P. Putnam's sons; London  (public domain)

There are also some negative connotations associated with black cats.   In Western history, black cats have often been looked upon as a symbol of evil omens, specifically being suspected of being the familiars of witches. Lots of Europe considers the black cat a symbol of bad luck, especially if one crosses paths with a person, which is believed to be an omen of misfortune and death.   In Georgia, where my daughter got her rescue black cat, there is a common practice of not allowing black cat adoptions around Halloween time because people will sometimes harm them.  

My daughter with Boo
A new cat practice that my daughter follows is the humane practice of putting tips on her cats nails to prevent him from clawing furniture etc.  This has replaced the declawing of cats.  Of course, she likes to color co-ordinate her nails with Boo's nails.  

Boo enjoying the bathtub
Boo is a very active and affectionate kitten.  He loves to follow my daughter around her house.  The bathroom and especially the bathtub/shower is a favorite spot.  He is fascinated with water and loves to look at water run down the shower and tub.  He has been know to play in his water bowl and leave paw prints throughout the house.

Black Cat Ceramic by Moriah Betterly
I have a very large collection of Siamese cat jewelry.  I can see American Bombay cat jewelry in my future.  You might pop into my online shop and see if I have any Boo inspired jewelry there from time to time.  Right now I have a lot of new Spring designs.

No comments:

Post a Comment