Cats and Vampires

Maybe in relation to the bond between cats and witchcraft, or maybe due to the origins of the Greek legend of Hecate, in the centuries XVI and XVII on Central Europe there existed the believe that cats could posses a dead body and then transform the deceased into a vampire.

Cats where not permitted inside rooms in which decease was kept on vigil and, if any cat went in accidentally, it was chased and killed when caught.

In the ancient legends of vampires, the vampire not only sucked the blood of their victims, but that afterwards it injected this blood to recently dead bodies to revive them and then posses them.

The resurrected body then was at the service of the devil until the publication of Dracula by Bram Stoker, in 1897 vampires weren’t associated with bats. Vampires were traditionally, cats or wolves.

End of the Persecution
At the end of the XVII Century, the obsession of the church with witchcraft disappeared so mysteriously as it had started.

The last trial for witchcraft in England took place in 1684, and in Scotland, in 1722.

In the year of 1692 there was a hunt for witches on Salem, Massachusetts that ended with the execution of 20 but cats were not attacked.

It seems that in that period, in North America they had a more benign vision of cats than in Europe, maybe because the felines that crossed the Atlantic on board of the Mayflower had made an excellent job protecting the provisions of food of the pilgrims.

The XVIII Century was a period of enlightment, and superstition gave way to reason, at least among the educated class, situation in which the cats were benefitted.

On France, country houses had an 18th.century version of a cat hole in the doors (they say that it was an invention of the British scientist Sir Isaac Newton, towards the year 1700), which permitted cats to go out and in from and to the house at will. On the interior paintings of the Dutch cats began to appear. The popularity of these animals among the high society had also a repercussion on the home of the most humble where they were permitted to get warm in the kitchen.

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