31st October 2007
If you think I meant black cats in the title, you’re wrong.
While popular Western culture has vilified black cats as evil omens associated with witchcraft, this is not the case in all societies. I was reading some omen texts from ancient Mesopotamia and came across this reference to cats:
If a white cat is seen in a manâ€™s house â€” (for) that land hardship will seize it.
If a black cat is seen in a manâ€™s house â€” that land will experience good fortune.
If a red cat is seen in a manâ€™s house â€” that land will be rich.
If a multicolored cat is seen in a manâ€™s house â€” that land will not prosper.
If a yellow cat is seen in a manâ€™s house â€” that land will have a year of good fortune.ï»¿
(CT 39 48:5-9 from William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger, The Context of Scripture [Leiden; New York: Brill, 1997], 424).
It seems to me that white and multicolored cats are the ones to watch out for!
You may also want to see my previous Halloween post on Witches in the Hebrew Bible.