Witches and Cats

Witches, according to common sayings, had a pact with the devil and, for it, special powers, for that reason, you could blame to witches of catastrophe as are floods, epidemics, shipwrecks, fires, storms, accidents… which on other ages have been qualified as “the hand of God”.

Commonly they used to think that the cats of witches could predict these disasters and that witches (could transform themselves into cats and hat they could recover again their human form up to nine times.

They also said that women considered as witches used to sell popular remedies didn’t favor the reputation of cats.

At the beginning of the XVI Century, the persecution of witches and cats was in full apogee. It was a perverse alliance between the teachings of the church and common superstition.

Any mature woman that lived alone (as several did due the difference in aging between men and women, and having in account that anyone with more than 40 years of age was considered old) was suspicious, especially if they had a cat as a pet, and overall if it was black.

The lent became in a period of killing and sacrifices of cats.

On many places of Western Europe they would be hanged, and on some regions of France they would be thrown to bonfires or were burned inside baskets disposed at the top of long poles.

In the book of the martyrs by John Fox, published in 1563 as an attack to the Roman Catholic Church, appears a cat hung by chains and dressed as a roman priest.

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