If you own a cat, then you possess the ability to divine the future. Throughout history, people have developed various unusual and often superstitious methods of divining the future, yet none is stranger than Ailuromancy, or predicting the future using cats. It works pretty much how it sounds. You watch the movements of said cat, and their actions reveal future outcomes, if it’s in the mood that day.
Since Egyptians had a thing for cats, it’s no wonder they developed this in the art of ailuromancy. One type of divination involved writing a question on a small tablet along with the name of a deity. The tablet was washed and placed inside a dead cat’s mouth (probably because a live cat wouldn’t tolerate such foolishness). Then the diviner would gain the answer the question in a prophetic dream.
A sneezing cat could mean rain in the coming days. Even washing their faces vigorously can mean rain. If the cat turns its tail to a fire or any substituting heat source, it foretells possible heavy rain or hard frost. Curling up with forehead touching the ground foretells a storm coming your way.
Apparently cats can foresee visitors. If a famine licks its ears three times, check which direction it’s looking. This is where you can expect a visitor to come from. What’s more, you can divine the gender, too. If it puts its paw around the right ear, expect a male visitor. Left ear, a lady. No indication for other fluid genders.
A cat following you is a sign of money coming your way. Yet if a black cat crosses your path, you’re sure to have bad luck. Except, should you find one white hair on a black cat, this means the cat is good luck. If you look into a cat’s eyes too long, it will bring you only bad luck.
A Warning of Sickness
Should you have sickness in your house, make sure you keep the cat close by. If it leaves and won’t be coaxed back inside, then the ill person may die. Likewise, if a cat sneezes three times in a row, the whole family will come down with a cold.
The Devil’s Creature
The worst act of ailuromancy dates back to 16th century Scotland. A person would roast a cat alive on a spit in a ritual called taghairm. Supposedly, this would summon the devil to protect the cat, who by now was screaming in agony. The devil would beg the person to relent and end the cat’s suffering. Yet the cruel SOB who started this torment would hold out until the devil had promised to fulfill a certain future request. Only then, could the cat’s misery come to an end. So who is the evil one in this scenario?
Thankfully, this sort of practice doesn’t happen anymore. Instead, we can settle for interpreting the whimsical doings of cat as it predicts future rain or perhaps a visitor.