A witch's cat familiar, described in the St. Osyth witches trial, 16th century the bundle into the sea while they recited incantations. A great storm arose and forced the royal ship to return to Scotland, but the king and queen were unharmed.
In the lore of the Scottish Highlands, a large breed of wild cats, called Elfin Cats, are said to be witches in disguise. The Elfin Cats are about the size of dogs and are black with a white spot on the breast. They have arched backs and erect bristles—the stereotypical Halloween cat.
Though the black cat is associated with witchcraft, it is nevertheless considered good luck to own one in parts of Europe, England and the United States. But having one's path crossed by a black cat is always bad luck. In other folklore, if a cat jumps over a corpse, the corpse will become a vampire. To prevent this, the cat must be killed. Cats are fertility CHARMs—a cat buried in a field will ensure a bountiful crop.
The cat plays a role in Vodun in the southern United States. Cat charms, particularly those made with cats' whiskers, can bring bad luck, disease and death to the victim. Conversely, in folklore cats have many healing properties. A broth made from a black cat is said to cure consumption. In the 17th century, a whole cat boiled in oil was held to be good for dressing wounds. Illnesses could be transferred to cats, who were then driven from homes.
Cats' eyes are supposed to be able to see ghosts. In western Asia, a stone called the Cat's Eye—dull red with a white mark—is associated with trouble and evil.
In WICCA, the cat is a favored companion or familiar, valued for its psychic sensitivity and assistance in MAGIC and RITuAL.
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