Wednesday, 27 January 2010

I once heard... About black cats and their reputation

Black cats weren't always bad luck, or so I once heard.
How long ago their reputation changed differs from one person to the next. Some say it was only last century that this superstition manifested. Some say it was much, much earlier than that. And some say it happened with the first ever black cat. But one detail never falters. The cat that started it all had 3 eyes. I cannot say if all cats at the time had 3 eyes, this, I do not know, and never bothered to ask. I was taken aback by the mere fact that a three eyed cat existed that nothing else would have surprised me more.

It is said that this cat was slender, slinky and svelte with long legs that ended in neat dainty paws that could easily be expected to pat around a ball of yarn, as well as scratch out the eye of unwelcome company. Her tail was of an abnormal length, wrapping around her body, and slithering between her legs and rising above her crown, swirling and swishing continuously with a life of its own, and how ≈ much of the latter depiction is metaphorical, I'd rather not ask, know, or think of.

But of course, the most notable feature was its tri-ocular nature.
It wasn't that the third eye was different, or alien or acted any differently. Other than the occasional dis-synchronised blinking, it passed as a simple mutation. But of course, I wouldn't have heard of this feline, or the events that occurred around her if a simple mutation was the case.

I've been told that each of these fabulously clear and piercing eyes, coloured an amber gold with a glint of green when the sun shone on them at certain angles, had a supernatural power.
When this cat stopped in her tracks and looked at someone, the right eye delved into their heart, and saw what they desired, their dreams, their wishes. The left eye delved into the dark crevices of their mind, tracking their fears and nightmares. And the third eye, searched their soul for their nature and intentions.

It was this eye on which everything depended. Once she saw you for what you were, it was then that your fate was sealed. It was then that what the two other eyes saw would matter.
If the person had a wicked soul, an ill-intentioned mind, a cruel heart, the cat would arch its back making the hairs on it stand on end, and its tail would whip around violently. And then it would be only a matter of days, if not hours that one of the fears she had learnt of would materialise. Whether it was the loss of wealth, a horrible accident, or an opportunity that went down the drain, it would happen. If, on the other hand, the person her gaze fell upon had an untainted soul, a clear mind, and a pure heart, the cat would purr quietly before scampering off into the shadows. And that person would deservedly be blessed with one of their heart-felt desires.

This, of course sounds quite even-handed (perhaps even-eyed?) and just. But why was it then that the black cat gained this infamous and ominous name for itself? The answer is in the question itself... Mankind in its majority did not have the qualities that would allow the right eye to make use of its knowledge. Not to say that no human was pure enough to avoid the wrath of the left eye, but that they were few and far between, and the ill-fated are far more spoken of and vocal. After all, it is the unfortunate things that are mostly remembered.

I once heard about the first black cat and her three eyes, and how her unbiased and virtuous nature brought about the bad omens and superstitions that marked her kind in our eyes.

I once heard how we never deserved anything less.