cats in europe

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Clapham Common Tube station now has pictures of cats instead of ads!

We seriously couldn’t love this anymore! After raising £23,000 ($30,526) on Kickstarter the Citizens Advertising Takeover Service (C.A.T.S) have achieved their goal of replacing every single advert in a London tube station with pictures of cats!

The pictures will be up in Clapham Common underground station for the next 2 weeks if you’re lucky enough to get down them and see them!

Port Grimaud - France

Port Grimaud is a seaside town, just a few kilometers west of Saint Tropez. The town was created by Francois Spoerry in the 1960′s. The town is built around canals in a Venetian style, but the houses are french “fisherman” style homes, similar to what is found in Saint Tropez. There is almost no traffic in town, with boats the main mode of transport. Most homes come with their own berth. 

ID #68612

Name: Riki
Age: 20
Country: Australia

Hi so…
some quick facts about myself:
I love drinking tea and cats are my favourite. I’m a night owl but also sometimes an early bird. I’d like to say I’m a social introvert. Traveling is something I aspire to do. I’ve always wanted to visit Europe. Food is what my life revolves around; I bake in my free time, I collect cookbooks/watch cooking shows and because that’s not nerdy enough (and I am indeed a nerd) I also study Food Science at uni. I listen to music constantly and enjoy creative hobbies. I’m a girl. Nothing’s better than being consumed by a good book but I spend way too much time on the internet. I just want to laugh everyday. I think it would be great to talk to new people and share genuine conversations and experiences.


Preferences: I’m opened minded and happy to talk with anyone who is interested but preferably those who are in a similar age bracket to myself.

Cat Folklore & Superstition

Cats, particularly black cats, have played many roles in folklore in cultures across the world.

Folklore

In Egypt, cats were considered scared and were worshipped; jewellery in hieroglyphics were also dedicated to cats. Bastet was known as the Goddess of cats, protection, stealth and independence. She bestowed the gifts of joy, beauty and grace. Cats were so revered that a person killing a cat, even accidentally, was put to death. This sacred animal was so important to the Egyptian society and religion, that after the cat’s death, its body was mummified and buried in a special cemetery.

In Celtic countries, cats played a role in mythology and folklore. In Ireland, and across the celtic world, the skin of a wild cat was worn by warriors, to invoke the avenging and protective power of the gods. The cat was associated with the Goddess, so it was considered feminine. The cat was also a totem animal amongst many clans, particularly Scottish. They believed that cats were guardians of the of the gates to the Otherworld, guardians of their treasures and also bring to the people the wholeness, as a spiritual link between humans and the universe. However, black cats in Celtic lore were considered evil, and were sacrificed.

In Norse mythology, cats are sacred to Freyja, the goddess of love and beauty, one of the original fertility goddesses of the region. Freyja is viewed as the protector of the weak, healer, granter of magic and source of love and peace. The chariot of Freyja is drawn by two large cats, other cats were also associated with this kind and loving goddess. As cats are sacred to Freyja, farmers would leave out precious milk for them, to ensure that she blessed their harvest

Fairy Cat - Cat Sìth

It is a creature from Celtic mythology, said to resemble a large black cat with a white spot on its breast. Legend has it that the spectral cat haunts the Scottish highlands. Some common folklore suggested that the Cat Sìth was not a fairy, but a witch that could transform into a cat nine times. If one of these witches chose to go back into their cat form for the ninth time, they would remain a cat for the rest of their lives. It is believed by some that this is how the idea of a cat having nine lives originated.

The people of the Scottish Highlands did not trust the Cat Sìth. They believed that it could steal a person’s soul before it was claimed by the Gods by passing over a corpse before burial; therefore watches called the Feill Fadalach (Late Wake) were performed night and day to keep the Cat Sìth away from a corpse before burial. Methods of “distraction” such as games of leaping and wrestling, catnip, riddles, and music would be employed to keep the Cat Sìth away from the room in which the corpse lay. In addition, there were no fires where the body lay, as it was legend that the Cat Sìth was attracted to the warmth.

On Samhain, it was believed that a Cat Sìth would bless any house that left a saucer of milk out for it to drink, but those houses that did not let out a saucer of milk would be cursed into having all of their cows’ milk dry.

Werecat

The transformation to either a domestic cat, a tiger, a lion, a lynx, or any other type, including some that are purely mythical felines.

European folklore usually depicts werecats who transform into domestic cats. Some European werecats became giant domestic cats or panthers. They are generally deemed to be witches, even though they may have no magical ability other than self-transformation. During the witch trials, the official Church doctrine stated that all shapeshifters, including werewolves, were witches whether they were male or female.

African legends describe people who turn into lions or leopards. In the case of leopards, this is often because the creature is really a leopard god or goddess masquerading as a human. When these gods mate with humans, offspring can be produced, and these children sometimes grow up to be shapeshifters; those who do not transform may instead have other powers. In reference to werecats who turn into lions, the ability is often associated with royalty. Such a being may have been a king or queen in a former life, or may be destined for leadership in this life. This quality can be seen in the lions of Tsavo, which were reputed to be kings in lion shape, attempting to repel the invading Europeans by stopping their railroad due to attacks on humans.

Mainland Asian werecats usually become tigers. In India, the weretiger is often a dangerous sorcerer, portrayed as a menace to livestock, who might at any time turn to man-eating. Chinese legends often describe weretigers as the victims of either a hereditary curse or a vindictive ghost. In Thailand, a tiger that eats many humans may become a weretiger. There are also other types of weretigers, such as sorcerers with great powers who can change their form to become animals. In both Indonesia and Malaysia there is another kind of weretiger, known as Harimau jadian. The power of transformation is regarded as due to inheritance, to the use of spells, to fasting and willpower, to the use of charms, etc. Save when it is hungry or has just cause for revenge, it is not hostile to man; in fact, it is said to take its animal form only at night and to guard the plantations from wild pigs.

The foremost were-animal in pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures was the were-jaguar.  It was associated with the veneration of the jaguar, with priests and shamans among the various peoples who followed this tradition wearing the skins of jaguars to “become” a were-jaguar. Among the Aztecs,  an entire class of specialised warriors who dressed in the jaguar skins were called “jaguar warriors" or "jaguar knights”. Depictions of the jaguar and the were-jaguar are among the most common motifs among the artifacts of the ancient Mesoamerican civilisations. The balams (magicians) of Yucatán were said to guard the maize fields in animal form.

Superstitions

  • Traits associated with cats include cleverness, unpredictability, healing and witchcraft, since in ancient times it was believed that witches took the form of their cats at night.
  • A kitten born in may will be a witches cat.
  • Dreaming of a cat is sometimes regarded as a sign of bad luck in the future. 
  • If a sailor was approached by the ship’s cat it meant good luck, but if the cat only came halfway, it meant bad luck would befall the sailor.
  • In Normandy, seeing a tortoiseshell cat foretold death by accident.
  • The French believed that if a girl tread on a cat’s tail, she would not find a husband before a year is out
  • To end even one of a cat’s 9 lives was to risk being haunted by that particular cat for the rest of the murderer’s life.
  • If you drown a cat, you will fall victim to a drowning.
  • To kill a cat brings 17 years of bad luck.
  • When the pupil of a cat’s eye broadens, there will be rain.
  • A strange black cat on your porch brings prosperity.
  • A cat sneezing is a good omen for everyone who hears it.
  • Occult powers are often attributed to cats. It is said that they also have the power of hypnotism. A cat with three different hues in its coat protect one against fire and fever.
  • When cats rush about wildly, clawing at curtains and cushions, it means that wind is coming.