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The folklore surrounding black cats varies from culture to culture. In Great Britain and in Ireland, black cats are a symbol of good luck. The Scottish believe that a strange black cat's arrival to the home signifies prosperity. Black cats are also good luck in Japan. Furthermore, it is believed that a lady who owns a black cat will have many suitors. However in Western history, black cats have often been looked upon as a symbol of evil omens, specifically being suspected of being the familiars of witches (assisting spirits who represent themselves in a physical animal form) and so most of western and southern Europe considers the black cat as a symbol of bad luck, especially if one crosses paths with a person, which is believed to be an omen of misfortune and death. In Germany, some believe that black cats crossing a person's path from right to left, is a bad omen. But from left to right, the cat is granting favorable times.
I'm a cat lover, so a black cat has never been a source of fear for me but I do know a few people who would rather never come across one. I'm sure it has more to do with a distrust of cats in general more than the color of it's fur. What about you? How do you feel about a black cat when it crosses your path?