Cat





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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