A Philippine Tale on Black Cats

Other races on earth are also familiar with the black cat superstition, how it’s bad luck when it crosses one’s path. But the Philippine tale on black cats has a moral story on the side. The tale warns people not to be like a black cat. So, here’s how not to be like a black cat.

The tale says long ago there was a delinquent dark-colored boy in a barrio who kept doing mischief in the neighborhood. It was not the kind that most rustic lads would do. The tale says the boy stole food, tools, utensils, money, and even farm animals. Nobody knew where the boy came from; he just appeared out of the blue—and the bad tales started going around.

The tale says he was stealing from everyone in the village, so the whole village came together to cast a spell on him. Philippine myths and folklores are full of tales that have to do with cursing and casting spells on an antagonist—and the thing actually worked.

The tale says that the whole village agreed on wishing that the boy one day crawl on all fours to beg for mercy but to no avail. The kind of creature he will turn to will be quite unsightly that everyone would shoo him off on sight. The creature, according to the tale, would forever be untame to all and carry the stigma of being an omen of bad luck.

Soon, a black cat was seen prowling in neighborhood backyards. Sure enough, the tale adds, everyone who saw it was aghast at the sight and shooed the cat off. Since then the tale went around of meeting any black cat as a sure omen of bad luck. But tales aside, most black cats are sweet pets to have.

A last side story on black cats: this Philippine tale further adds that killing a black cat hands-on at midnight during a Good Friday endows special powers to the perpetrator. After killing the poor thing, the tale says it is to be buried at said day and time. The following year, same day and time, it is to be exhumed. The remains are said to be magical.

Black cats are just like people; they’re here for a purpose—and it’s not to carry bad luck or any evil omen. And Filipino boys are sweet and kind with potentials to turn into good citizens someday—not into black cats.

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