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Cat






Category: BIRDS AND BEASTS.

Source: Welsh Folk-lore

The cat was thought to be a capital weather glass. If she stood or lay
with her face towards the fire, it was a sign of frost or snow; if she
became frisky, bad weather was near. If the cat washed her face,
strangers might be expected; and if she washed her face and ears, then
rain was sure to come. A black cat was supposed to bring luck to a
house, thus:--

Cath ddu, mi glywais dd'wedyd,
A fedr swyno hefyd,
A chadw'r teulu lle mae'n hyw
O afael pob rhyw glefyd.

A black cat, I've heard it said,
Can charm all ill away,
And keep the house wherein she dwells
From fever's deadly sway.

Cats born in May, or May cats, were no favourites. They were supposed to
bring snakes or adders into the house. This supposition has found
utterance:--

Cathod mis Mai
Ddaw a nadrodd i'r tai.

Cats born in May
Bring snakes to the house.

In some parts the black cat was otherwise thought of than is stated
above, for this injunction is heard:--

Na chadw byth yn nghylch dy dy
Na cheiliog gwyn na chath ddu.

Never keep about thy house
A white cock or black puss.

Cats are so tenacious of life that they are said to have nine lives. We
have already spoken of witches transforming themselves into cats.

A singular superstition connected with cats is the supposition that they
indicate the place to which the dead have gone by ascending or descending
trees immediately after the death of a person.

The Rev. P. W. Sparling, Rector of Erbistock, informed me that one day a
parishioner met him, and told him that his brother, who had lately died,
was in hell, and that he wished the Rector to get him out. Mr. Sparling
asked him how he knew where his brother was, and in answer the man said
that he knew, because he had seen his brother in the form of a white cat
descend a tree immediately after his death. On further inquiry, the man
stated that since the cat came down the tree, it was a sign that his
brother had gone down to hell; but had the cat gone up the tree, it
would have shown that he had gone up to heaven.

I have heard it stated, but by whom I have forgotten, that if a black
cat leaves a house where a person dies, immediately after that person's
death, it shows he has gone to the bad place; but if a white cat, that he
has gone to heaven.





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