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Cats In Slavic Mythology And Folk Tradition

In Slavic mythology, the cat – is an independent and freedom-loving. Cat was not attached to anything as she lives for her own pleasure. Slavic Hero Tales – Cat – Baiyun drives away evil spirits. Cats on the contrary like coziness and are more attached to the home than to the owner. The cat always comes back home, but not to the host. There are cases when people move into a new house and the cat goes back into the old. In Slavic folklore there always existed a sayings about cats “cat has nine lives”. It was believed that cat in your house protects small children and drives away evil spirits. Or on example if you killed a cat – seven years of bad lucky will come to you. Slavs associated cats with God Veles which was seen as the God representing the underworld – the world of dreams and undead. These beautiful wayward animals that live an independent life, have always been admired by humans. The cat was seen as graceful, selfish, cunning and clever. 

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Perhaps the proudest cat were independent creatures, tenacious and nocturnal. During medieval times cats ranked as evil spirits and it was believed that black cats were the cleaver assistants of witches and that they bring bad luck. Jumping over a corpse, cat certainly would turn it into a vampire. In Slavic mythology, there was a belief that killing a cat would result in man incurs the seven years of tribulation.

A Black Feral Cat
A Black Feral Cat

There are cases when the cat remained in the old abandoned house, even if the owners are moving into a new one. Cat as a creature was not attached to anything. In mythology folk people have seen cats as Veles, dark incarnation of the god Perun which was light. Her confrontation with the mouse represented the eternal struggle between good and evil, light of the world and wickedness of the underworld. Struggle between two gods Perun and Veles close relatives. Cats caused awe, respect, fear and admiration among old Slavs which was not that strange considering they had almost God like attributes among other civilizations like Egyptian. So after reading this, are you a dog or cat person?

What do you think?

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