Movement against Cats

The Christian church, both Catholic as Protestant after, seems to have had an outstanding role.

It is impossible to know what the medieval theologians thought, but it aroused, or was cultivated, a superstition that according to it Satan would appear on earth under the form of  a black cat.

From there it began to be associated with witches, agents of Satan on earth. Two sources have been suggested, both mythological, as the origin to this movement against cats.

One has its origins in the ancient Greece and makes reference to Hecate, Greek  goddess of magic and enchantments, customary of graveyards. One of the servants of Hecate was galenthius, who had been transformed into a cat and could invoke the spirits of the death.

The other source comes from the Scandinavian mythology.

In the XIII Century, on the German remains a pagan cult aroused, it was based on Freya, Scandinavian goddess of love and fertility, whose chariot was pulled by two cats, that had a prominent role in the rituals to Freya.

These stories seem like a pretext for a very vigorous attack against cats from the Christians, even by being reinforced by the fact, several times quoted, that in the bible cats are not mentioned. (There is only one mention in the apocryphal bible, in the letters of Jeremiahs). But cats became expiatory victims and agents of evil, especially in relation with witchery.

At the end of the XV Century, the Pope Innocence VIII, fiercely contrary to wizards, witches and to the cult to Preya, ordered that, when burning witches, their cats should also be burned.

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