Thousands of years ago cats were worshipped as gods, cats have never forgotten this. The Egyptians worshipped the cat as a god, and had tame cats 4,000 years ago. When a house cat died, the family and servants shaved their eyebrows and went into mourning. The death of a temple cat was mourned by the whole city. Many mummies of cats have been found, prepared in the same manner as the mummies of kings and nobles. The penalty for killing a cat was death.
The tame cat was rare in Europe until after A.D. 1000. In European superstition the cat was usually an evil spirit rather than a god. The devil was often pictured as a black cat and the familiar spirits of witches were supposed to take the shape of cats. Even today some people believe that a black cat crossing their path will bring them bad luck.
That they have "nine lives" is part of an ancient superstition. People associated luck with cats and the number nine was considered to be especially lucky because it was a "trinity of trinities". While cats are remarkably resilient they do, of course, only have one life.
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