Timely History: Cats and the Catholic Church

Do you own a cat? Are you Catholic? You are a heretic! Burn at the stake!

Just kidding. It’s not like cats were excommunicated by the Catholic Church. I mean there’s even a “cat” in the name for God’s sake (see what I did there?)!

Except, cats were officially excommunicated by the Catholic Church at one point.

Pope Gregory IX (yes, that Pope Gregory) came to the papacy in 1227. We could probably call him the ultimate “not a cat person.” You see, he thought cats housed Satan. Yes, he actually decreed that Satan was half-cat. Cats were used in Satanic masses and that is how Satan would show up. As a Catholic, I’d like to tell you I am making any of this up. I am not. It gets dumber from here!

Guess when people killed lots of cats? During the Great Plague! See, since cats were evil then obviously they brought the plague around. Of course, now we know that rats brought them. And now of course you just made the connection that less cats meant more rats. Welcome to historical irony!

Oh, want to know why there are so few black cats? They were deemed the evilest. So, a lot more them were killed leading to a smaller population today, probably.

Ever hear the saying, “never let a black cat cross your path?” Well, that’s because there is a crazy Catholic behind them attempting to kill them and you may get hurt.

Okay, I made the last one up but everything else is true.

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