They say, no luck -
If a black cat pass the way.
In the meantime, on the contrary -
Only the black cat, and no luck.
(From the song "Black Cat»).
What's the truth, many a panic fear of a black cat. Since it involves so many unlucky omens, that I wanted to dig deeper and find out just how true these prejudices. And is it really to blame for these animals in our misery?
The most famous sign: if a black cat ran across the road, do not expect good. Especially bad if the cat ran, "bosom", ie towards the clasp on clothes. To prevent the misfortune to go the other way, or at least three times, spit over his left shoulder and continue on with folded fig in the pocket or holding the button. Better yet, wait until this road someone will pass. Another Russian national sign states that the appearance of a stranger in the house of a black cat - harbinger of disaster. And during a thunderstorm black cat attracts the lightning, so it certainly was discarded at this time on the street. In general, black cat or cat is considered to be faithful servants of the devil, or at least, witch.
But in contrast to these opposing beliefs, there are many. For example, sailors believed that the presence of a black cat on the ship promises a successful voyage. In England there is a sign that if the bride near a black cat sneezes, then the marriage will be happy. In Scotland, they say: "Black cat on the porch - a prosperity in the house." In America in the XIX century it was believed that if the door has come to a wandering black cat, it is necessary to let him in and show all possible hospitality, then necessarily be a great success. By the way, in the US in Lick Springs, Indiana, there is still a law ordering all owners of black cats to wear on your pets neck bells, letting them out on Friday the 13th.
So where did the black cat? After all, cat hair, "wild-type" contains two types of pigment: black (eumelanin) and yellow (pheomelanin), which give typical of most mammals, gray, or agouti-color. It turns out that the emergence of black color in cats - the result of a mutation at the genetic level, at which disrupted the distribution of yellow pigment on the hairs. Animals, carriers of this mutation have a black coat color and have absolutely nothing to do with otherworldly forces.
There is an interesting historical fact. It turns out that in the XIX century Russia was selling cat's fur. A large number of goods purchased China, mainly skin steppe wild and domestic cats. The most incredible - the most expensive is valued skins of black domestic cat. The price was 2-3 times more than the other skin colors. One can imagine how many trials befell the black cats in those days! Fortunately, the fashion for black skin was short-lived.
And here is an interesting fact of our time. In large towns, particularly in the cities, the number of black cats is much more than in the villages. Researchers are trying to unravel this phenomenon, but a consensus is not reached. It is believed that the most likely answer lies in the side effects of gene black color. It has been observed that animals with black fur quieter, more resistant to stress and are friendlier to humans. Perhaps this is why black cats are better adapted to the intense urban life than their relatives other colors. The only way to date can be attributed to a sharp increase in the number of black cats in urban populations.
As can be seen, the black cat did not carry any danger, but rather even less aggressive than others. It seems that superstitions work only because people themselves are setting yourself up threatening trouble. Is it so?