Showing posts with label witches familiars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label witches familiars. Show all posts

Saturday 28 October 2023

Black Oriental Shorthair is your perfect vampire cat companion for Halloween

This is a beautiful jet black, Oriental Shorthair with a slight squint and golden eyes, together with massive bat-like years and fangs, which make him, Toivo, ideal as your vampire bat accomplice for the forthcoming Halloween parties.

Black Oriental shorthair is your perfect vampire cat companion for Halloween
Image: A Tuomas Ikonen and MikeB collaboration.

RELATED: Why Siamese Cats Are Cross-eyed. Note the Oriental SH is a member of the Siamese cat family and Siamese cats are predisposed to being cross-eyed.

He is five years old and he lives in Finland and a social media star. I have taken his photograph and removed the background and added some fun background objects to make him look more like a Halloween cat. 

I hope his owner accepts it and perhaps approves of what I've done. Anybody can use it provided the copyright owner agrees. I believe the copyright owner is Tuomas Ikonen. I have sent a message for his approval.

Toumas clearly loves the Oriental Shorthair breed, which has a very particular look: slender, sometimes very slender which is described as "Oriental" by the cat fancy.

He is a very calm cat according to his owner. Despite looking like a badass, vampire cat with massive fangs, he is a sweetie with a great personality and a big voice which sounds like an out of tune falsetto opera singer.

He loves attention and of course he has found fame at this time of year. This brings to mind a more serious side to Halloween and black cats. It is that time of year when sometimes, crazy people, like to abuse black cats because there are hints of witchcraft about them if you believe in that kind of stuff. 

This is a throwback to the Middle Ages; around the 13th century. It's crazy but as I recall, some animal shelters do not let people adopt black cats at this time of year to protect them from these crazy people.

And of course, there is another serious side to this time of year which is fireworks. This is one of my pet hates and you will find that it is a pet hate of many cat owners (and dog owners). We don't know how Toivo deals with the sounds and sights of fireworks but if the general population is anything to go by, he hates it just like I do.

I have a page on advice from the UK's Cats Protection charity about how to look after domestic cat during this torrid time of year which you might like to peruse at your leisure by clicking on this link!


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Thursday 10 February 2022

Five black cats vanish near Darlington, UK. Is this witchcraft?

Firstly, there are people who practice witchcraft in the UK today, 2022. You don't hear much about them if anything. You don't see them but they are self-proclaimed witches practicing witchcraft. And they perform weird and wonderful ceremonies. We don't know where they are and I don't think that people are much interested in them except for people like me news media reports that five black cats have gone missing from two places: Croft-on-Tees and Dalton-on-Tees, both near Darlington, UK.

Five black cats vanish near Darlington, UK. Is this witchcraft? Image: PoC.

There are two strange facts about the case. There are other indoor/outdoor cats allowed to roam around these towns which are not black cats. Nothing happened to them. Secondly, the five black cats have completely disappeared. There is no trace of them anywhere. It is as if they no longer exist.

RELATED: The earliest record of the belief that cats are witches in disguise.

This would point strongly to the suggestion that a person or persons have simply taken them. They've been removed from the street and taken somewhere. Bearing in mind the association between black cats and witches, and also bearing in mind, as stated above, that witches remain in the UK even today, it is reasonable to suggest that persons engaged in witchcraft have used black cats as some sort of sacrifice.

That sounds horrible and brutal and it conjures up a very unpleasant image. However, my gut feeling is that it is a reasonable and accurate assessment.

RELATED: Witches and Witches’ Familiars in the UK in the 1970s.

Specifically, three black cats on the same street in Croft-on-Tees vanished without trace in a matter of weeks leaving their caregivers bereft and searching for them.

And two black cats have also gone missing in a neighbouring village: Dalton-on-Tees. The matter is being investigated by the police. Mrs Schmidt who owned a black cat called Tom which has gone missing said:

"It is a complete mystery. The cats are chipped and none have been found on the roads. It is like they have just vanished into thin air. There are loads of cats in our village and it is just the black ones which have disappeared."

Anyone with any ideas or information which might help trace the cats can contact North Yorkshire Police by calling 101, press 2 and ask to speak to PSCO Helen Sutherland.

Monday 25 October 2021

If we exonerate Scotland's witches there should be a memorial to their cats

There are calls to exonerate Scotland's forgotten witches. This could be widened to the whole of Europe but at the moment Claire Mitchell QC is campaigning for the exoneration of Scotland's witches who were so deeply and horrendously abused, often with their domestic cat companions, from the mid-16th and early 18th centuries. 

If we exonerate Scotland's witches there should be a memorial to their cats
If we exonerate Scotland's witches there should be a memorial to their cats. Picture in public domain.

ASSOCIATED: Time to pardon witches and their cats. I wrote this 4 years ago!

Scotland has the dubious distinction of being the country which carried out five times more executions of witches per capita than the European average according to a Euro News report. So they were particularly fervent about persecuting ordinary and no doubt decent women who were accused of being witches. Back in the day superstition was more prevalent but it still exists today particularly in developing countries such as on the African continent.

Over the course of nearly 200 years around 4,000 women were put on trial for witchcraft. Over 2,500 of them were executed. One of them was Lilias Addie. She wasn't burned at the stake but imprisoned where she died. Most women convicted of witchcraft were burned rather than buried. Addie's coffin was converted into a wooden walking stick with the engraving "Lilias Addie, 1704".

The persecution of these normal Scottish folk was instigated after the enactment of Scotland's 1563 Witchcraft Act. The identities of convicted witches was erased by the authorities and families "out of fear and shame" said Claire Mitchell QC. She wants a legal pardon and a monument to the estimated 2,558 Scots executed during what is described as "the brutal centuries of femicide".

But this was an era of the persecution of domestic cats as well. They are commonly called witches' familiars, because they were often seen as companions to witches. Not only were the humans burnt at the stake, their cats were as well or killed in some other equally barbaric way. Cats were abused cruelly. 

If we exonerate Scotland's witches there should be a memorial to their cats
Picture in public domain.

Incidentally, in England witches were hanged not burned. During the entire era of "witch persecutions" about 30,000-60,000 people in total were executed. About 75% of witches is put on trial were acquitted. It wasn't just the Catholic Church that persecuted them. All four of the major Western Christian denominations i.e. the Roman Catholic Church, Lutheran, Calvinist and Anglican churches were involved.

Men were also tried for witchcraft and in Scandinavia more men were put on trial than women. Across Europe, around 10-15% of the total put on trial were men. This information comes from Diane Purkiss a professor of English literature at Keble College University of Oxford.

We mustn't forget the cat companions of these women. Both of them were cruelly abused. If the women are pardoned and a memorial is erected in Scotland so that we can remember them, I would ask that the memorial also includes a recognition that their cat companions also need remembering. We have that obligation in the interests of decency and animal welfare.

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Witchcraft banned cats from the bible

Witchcraft banned cats from the bible. Crazy? Absurd? No not really. Here is my argument. The bible contains no reference to the domestic cat whatsoever. The domestic dog is mentioned but not that frequently. Lions and leopards are referred to rarely.

At the time of Christ the cat had, by mutual consent, been domesticated for more than 6,000 years. In Egypt the African wildcat had been well and truly domesticated also by consent with the cat. In other words the cat and humans gained from the relationship.

For a while, the domestic cat in Egypt before the time of Christ (a cat that is the Eyptian Mau even today), was revered and worshiped. We know about that. As a result, a lot of potential existed for a least a mention in the bible. But nothing. Zilch. Rien. Porquoi?

It may simply be that the authors of the bible found nothing in the domestic cat that related to their stories. That seems a fair assumption as the bible is about people. And the bible was written second hand many, sometimes hundreds of years after the event. It is not necessarily an accurate account of events.

And then we have the translation. Lost in translation might apply to the bible. Did the 47 Church of England scholars who translated the Greek text of the bible into the King James Version do it objectively, accurately? Or were they tempted (as I would be) to put in a bit that I thought is more important and which would guide readers in the direction that the Church of England wanted them to go?

At the time (early 1600s) cat familiars (black cats that lived with so called witches) were thought of as real. People believed in them. Might it have been very easy to erase the few references to the domestic cat that might have been in the original text to "clean it up" for modern England? What I mean is modern in relation to the origins of the bible.

Three Legged Black Cat
Black Cat - Charlie

You know, translating text from one language to another, particularly an old language allows for a good amount of artistic enterprise. The translator is looking for the true meaning of the text as they understand it. It is objectivity built upon subjectivity - a dangerous concept.

So, if as I say witchcraft and cat familiars were part of the national consciousness in the days when the bible was translated into the most widely used languages, it is not beyond the bounds of reasonable thought to suggest that the cat was removed from the text. After all, witches familiars revealed the devil to the witch. It was possessed by the witch. How could an author put a cat in the bible on that basis?

My conclusion as to why there is no reference to domestic cats in the bible is:
  • They were not that relevant to the stories in the bible
  • Cats were seen as evil and possessed of the devil at the time translations of the bible were being carried out
  • The bible was written 50 to hundreds of years after the events. The stories are second had and somewhat historical. Under these circumstances only the broader issues where referred to. Detail mentioning the cat were irrelevant to the stories as mentioned.
The Islam faith has a more practical and open culture and teaching regarding the domestic cat because Mohammed kept a cat as far as I remember. A great start for a domestic cat. I don't know what the modern Muslim feels about the domestic cat but if they read the books they will be tender and compassionate because that is what is taught.

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