A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Friday, May 20, 2016

A Guide to Cats, Colors, and Luck: It’s Complicated

Well, this doesn't look good for you. The post hasn't even started,
and already there's a black cat on your path.
Do you believe in luck?
Stock image by Petra Kohlstädt via Adobe Stock. 
Humans have all sorts of sayings about luck. For some reason, humans have long thought that animals, including cats, have something to do with luck. You know how bad humans are at remembering things, so they’ve made up lots of pithy sayings to remind themselves of how luck works. You know the sort of thing:  If X happens, then you’ll have Y kind of luck. And so on.

She of Little Talent has done some digging into a book of Maryland folklore published in 1925, and she has collected several sayings about what kind of luck you’ll get from various encounters with cats of different colors. She’s put them into this handy little guide. Enjoy.

Black cats

  • To meet a black cat early in the morning is a sign of good luck.
  • It is bad luck if a black cat crosses your path from right to left; good luck if from left to right.
  • If a black cat crosses you path, it is bad luck; worse luck if you are on a journey; worse luck still if she carries a kitten in her mouth. The same is true of a rabbit or hare. Best go home and take food before starting again, or wait until another day.
  • If a black cat runs in front of you, it is good luck.
  • A black cat looking in the window is a sign of bad luck.
  • If a black cat enters your house, it is bad luck.
  • If a black cat comes to your house and you take it in, it is good luck.
  • It is a sign of good luck for a black cat to enter a newly tenanted house.
  • If a black cat comes into a newly opened store, it is a sign of good luck.
  • If a black cat licks itself, it is a sign of good luck.

Is this white cat a harbinger of doom or a
good-luck charm? Either way, she's very pretty.
Stock image by seregraff via Adobe Stock.

 White cats

  • It is good luck to let a pure white cat go across your path.
  • If a white cat runs in front of you, it is bad luck.

 Gray cats

  • It is bad luck for a gray cat to cross your path.

 Tuxedo cats

  • A black cat with a white breast in a bedroom is a sign of bad luck.


To sum up, if you encounter a cat in the state of Maryland, you might have either good or bad luck, depending on (a) the cat’s color; (b) the time of day; and (c) whether you meet the cat, it crosses your path, runs in front of you, looks in your window, comes in your house, and/or licks itself. Apparently tuxedo cats affect luck only in the bedroom.

What kind of luck will you get from calico kittens in party hats?
We don't know, but it looks good.
Stock image by Katrina Brown via Adobe Stock.
Oddly, there is no saying about what kind of luck calico cats bring. I say “oddly” because the calico is the state cat of Maryland, so you’d think that encountering one would bring good luck. Unless you are on a journey and the calico cat crosses your path from left to right while walking backwards and carrying a black kitten. Then…well, you should probably go home and go back to bed. But buy a lottery ticket first, because you might just have good luck.

If you believe in that sort of thing.


All sayings about cats and luck are quoted from Folk-Lore from Maryland, collected by Annie Weston Whitney and Caroline Canfield Bullock (New York: American Folk-Lore Society, 1925, Reprint 1929).

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