Yesterday as I was passing by my street, a black cat crossed the road and the car driver just stopped, waited for a moment until some other person crossed over. Not only in southern part of India but such practices are prevalent across the nation. This article is about black cat crossing path and its association with luck.
Is this superstition of Indian origin?
Not every superstition is of Indian origin.
Nowhere (in my limited knowledge) could I find that the black cat crossing our path is unlucky according to Indian religious texts. I have very little (almost none) knowledge of the texts such as Apastambha Sutra, Brahma Sutras, Shatpath Brahmin etc. so cannot say if there is a mention of black cat thing in those texts. I don't even know in detail what these texts contain.
I don’t think in my personal opinion that this is actually an Indian belief. From the stories available from Internet this seems to be more of a European belief which spread all around the world including The United States of America.
On astroved.com I found a reason. The author had referred Saguna Sastra. I have not read this text. The author was trying to connect this with astrology. According to the author black denotes Saturn and because Saturn (in astrology) is for delays, the black cat crossing path is considered unlucky.
Why only black cat? According to futurepointindia.com, “Saturn represents animals like cat, asses, hare, wolves, bear, crocodile, serpents and venomous creatures, buffaloes, camels. It also represents birds like eel, sea fish, bats and owls”.
Why black cat crossing your path is unlucky?
The belief is more of European than Indian origin. They believe black cats are associated with witchcraft. Witches had the capability to transform into black cats and they could move around the streets as black cats without anyone noticing them.
The story I came across was like this:
A father and son were going somewhere and found a black cat on their way. They threw stones at the black cat until it entered a house. This house belonged to a lady who was suspected of being a witch. Next day when they came they found that lady walking with difficulty and injured. Hence, they concluded that the black cat had become a witch.
Credit for this story goes to www.todayifoundout.com.
Moreover, cats are more nocturnal than diurnal. Their eyes have the capability to see in the low light.
This popular superstition is seen differently in different countries. I will not go in detail about that here. Just to give a hint, some countries consider this lucky and some do not and some analyze the cat movement i.e. towards you or away from you and also from left to right or right to left.
Author - Archit