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Black Cats – Why Does The Man Try To Keep Them Down?

English: Former U.S. Representative and Speake...

Gingrich. Oil on canvas. Not a political statement in this case (Image via Wikipedia)

It is generally understood that having a black cat cross one’s path is considered a bad omen. I’m a somewhat superstitious guy, but I’ve never found myself in any kind of peril after I intersected with a black cat. I think these cats are getting a bad rap for something that most of them are not involved in. It’s like a Newt Gingrich speech that we keep recycling.

Today, I saw something that makes me want to right that wrong. I’m thinking I want to start a counter superstition.

So Anyhow…

I was driving in traffic this morning on a four lane thoroughfare. I was next to a bus. Coming in the other direction were two cars, side by side. Everyone was moving about 40 mph and traffic was just what you’d think it was during the rush hour.

Looking ahead (because we know I am all about IPDE), I saw a black cat running for all it was worth toward the busy road. I don’t know what had scared it so, but this cat was running hard and clearly had no intention of stopping at the curb to look in both directions. I knew this could not come to a good ending for the cat. The only remaining question in my mind was which of us was going to have the misfortune of dispatching this poor animal with our vehicle.

The cat ran across the path of the bus and passed in front of my car. I just knew that I was going to hit him, but I didn’t. I’m not sure how I didn’t, because I could not have braked without causing an accident. I’m also not sure why I’m saying the cat was a male. He was not wearing pants and I’m not adept at identifying a cat’s gender under the most favorable of circumstances. These were not favorable cat gender assignment conditions.

The cat rocketed across the front of my car unscathed and headed into certain doom in oncoming traffic.

Black cat on window

As best I can tell, means no harm (Image via Wikipedia)

The people driving the oncoming cars saw him coming. I could see them tensing, both certain they were going to hit the poor cat. They were wrong. The cat leaped onto the curb and never slowed down.

It occurred to me to write that he made it across that street by a whisker, but that would sort of imply he was running backward. If he were, he never would have made it past the bus. I’ll be satisfied with saying that he barely made it.

… He Lived.

It is time that we consider a new way of looking at black cats. Perhaps we should judge them as individuals. There is no way that cat could be a threat to me, or any one of the other four of us whose paths were crossed. In fact, I would contend that his sheer luck had to rub off on us.

Join me. Teach your children that cats are cats. Correct your friends when they point out a black cat and call it an omen. Together, we can change this harmful superstition.

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33 Comments on “Black Cats – Why Does The Man Try To Keep Them Down?”

  1. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    What if the cat knocks over & breaks a mirror while running under a ladder…?

    I miss having a cat. My landlord is anti-pet, no matter the color.

    Sometimes, you can be proud to be a black cat.

  2. This has some really cool cosmic implications. What if someone had braked hard to miss the cat and caused a massive chain reaction wreck–the headlines would have screamed “Black Cat Means Bad Luck for Commuters.” Maybe it was your lack of superstitious fear that defused the jinx??

  3. Betty says:

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Cats are the devil’s spies.

  4. linlah says:

    I’m wondering if that cat doesn’t do that on a regular basis just for fun.

  5. Lenore Diane says:

    I think I’m over thinking this one.

  6. Katybeth says:

    I have done my part–live with and owned two black cats. My only bad luck was when they died of old age.

  7. Linda Sand says:

    I’m with Thomas Stazyk. That cat running across the street like that “should” have caused a multi-vehicle accident. Why didn’t it? Why did everyone decide to let it take it chances rather than hit the brakes? Is it because you all thought, “It’s just a black cat so it deserves whatever it gets.”?

  8. How can we be sure that the other four did not have bad luck after the incident?

    For that matter, you haven’t replied to comments. Are you ok? Did something bad happen?

    Are you sure it was a cat? That sounds like squirrel behavior.

    And a follow up, if I may. . . .

    Why are animals always darting in front of your automobile? It’s like you’re Dr. Kervorkian on wheels.

  9. Spectra says:

    That’s an Olympic Grade cat there. I smell new reality show…

  10. Jane says:

    Superstitions are useless. I always cringe when Rachel Ray throws salt over her shoulder. She’s probably wasted a couple of pounds of salt so far, and her kitchen floor must resemble a white sand beach by now. She needs to stop doing that; she’s made her point that her family is just like everyone else who believes that salt has power over the universe.

    Thanks for the opportunity to address my annoyance with Ms. Ray’s silly habit. I like her show and her recipes, though.

  11. planetross says:

    If it didn’t catapult across the highway the way it did, it could have been a catastrophe.

    note: I like black cats … because when you say the words really fast it sounds like “blankets” without the “n”.
    double note: ok … I just like saying “blackats”. I’m busted.

  12. We Found Him Captain! says:

    I am friends with a cat named “Larry”. Every time I call his name, he runs like his butt is a runaway jet engine. He was last seen by the Highway Patrol going north on I-95. Don’t worry…..Larry always runs with the traffic and stays in the right lane.

  13. Debbie says:

    My Italian grandmother claimed black cats were GOOD luck — she always seemed to have a stray or two hanging around her house, and she was all kinds of lucky at Bingo! Your story is one more bit of proof that black cats are lucky.

  14. I own a black cat, so I think I did my part. Although…I have been having a lot of bad luck lately, so maybe…? Nah….

  15. Amy says:

    My sister owned a black cat and the only bad luck he brought was to himself. He got hit by a car. Survived (barely) and healed. Shortly thereafter, he got hit by a car again. Apparently he only had two lives.

  16. Pie says:

    That cat must’ve been trained by Usain Bolt…


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