Just in time for Halloween

A black cat crossed my path this morning.

Which wasn’t fair at all. I mean, I had done everything right. Got up early, dropped off some shirts at the cleaners well before the cutoff for getting them back today, ran a couple of other quick errands while I was at it, and headed home for my morning run and then breakfast.

So I didn’t really need this omen. Not that it matters, of course. I have this happen every once in a while, and I’ve never noted any correlation between black cats and bad things happening. And I’m the neurotic sort who analyzes everything to death, including trivial apparent connections, so I would have noticed.

Still. It sort of ticked me off. The cat seemed to do it deliberately.

Anyway, I was wondering. I came across this cat suddenly, as I was rounding a bend coming into my neighborhood. It was sort of fluffy, and at first I thought it was a small dog. It was standing indecisively near the curb, and then started briskly out it front of me as I rolled toward it. It saw me, and stopped, just as I was braking. It looked for an instant as though it would turn back, but then looked away from me (in that arrogant way cats have) and proceeded on across.

What I was wondering was this … or rather, two things:

  • If the cat had turned back, would that have been a good omen? Or at least neutral?
  • If I hadn’t braked in time, and had run over it, would that have negated any theoretical bad luck? Or would it have been worse, like breaking a mirror or something? I know it would have made me feel worse. I think. (And no, Cindi, I wouldn’t have done it on purpose.)

As I said, I analyze everything to death. Anyway, any experts out there on this? Resources on the Web are confusing. This one says that in some countries, a black cat crossing your path is a good omen. Should I move to one of those countries?

I don’t know. I’m not planning on dressing up or anything, so this is as close as I get to getting in the spirit of the holiday. Have a happy and safe All Hallows’ Eve, and a blessed All Saints Day.

3 thoughts on “Just in time for Halloween

  1. nancy

    I think all that stuff about bad luck–it seems to me that it becomes a self-fulfilling proficy. If you think it’s going to be bad luck you go around thinking about all the things that went wrong for the day and you blame it on the cat or….if you have a good day and look at the great things that happened (like you were able to get up and out of bed) you might call it a good omen. I think it’s all in how you view your life and what happens–like the glass half full or half empty. I prefer to look on the bright side and be happy that I was able to “see” and able to run across another living thing!!

  2. Susan Lynn

    I was just looking for guildance or advice about why a black cat crosses a persons path and I ran across your blog and thought I would reply to you to give you advise and tell you what I know to make myself feel better. I to, experience black cats periodically crossing my path. I always think, wow, this happens a lot to me. It has probably happened 7 times or so in the last few years. It happens when I am driving about twenty five miles an hour down a residential street, it happens when I am riding my bike and it happens when I am walking. One time when I was on foot I tied to run up and catch the cat so I could cross first, to no avail. There have actually been a couple times that I changed my route to avoid this possible bad luck. But like you I have never noticed any particular bad luck that seems to be associalted with having my path crossed by a black cat. I also have learned that in England, it is good luck. I attribute it to a kind of connection to a dark force that is not necessarily bad, but possibly powerful, similar to an experience that I had as a child playing 9 consecutive games of hearts with my cousin and having the queen of spades dealt to me every single time. I have asked other people if they ever experienced a black cat crossing their path and all I have heard is “no I havent”. The fact that you and I both have had this happen several times is kind of like the getting hit by lightening phenomenon, if it happens once to someone it is likely to happen again or many times. I might mean however, that we are just more observant, but I think it may have something to do with the power of our presence. The cat senses our approach and wants to play. I ask my self, why a black cat? why are these cats who cross my path always black? an answer came to me: Cats like all living creatures want attention. Black cats are harder to see than other cats. If they are in the bushes or simply laying on the ground they could be virtually invisible, so they have developed a social trait in their evolution which leads them to seek out the attention of creatures around them by playing the lead, by crossing an oncomers path. …just a thoery.

  3. Mary

    OK…Yesterday I was diagnosed with cancer and today (which just happens to be Halloween) I went down the street (I am in Baltimore city) to pay someone back some money I owe them at a restaurant and a black cat came peeking around the corner from an alley and then turned back. It turns out that the place was closed and as I turned around to go back the cat once again looked at me and did not cross my path…I have never in my life had a black cat walk out in front of me. I am Irish and superstitious. I also wonder if it was bad luck that the cat appeared (maybe I will find out that I am in advanced stage of cancer) or good luck that it did not cross but moved away from me (maybe my cancer will be very treatable). It kind of freaked me out.


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