I don't consider myself superstitious. I don't avoid walking under ladders, nor am I afraid of handling mirrors lest they break, and I certainly do not worry about black cats crossing my path! In fact, if I don't have a black cat cross my path every few minutes, I worry! That usually means they are up to something...well, Chloe Jo usually is.
Black cats are often misunderstood. (Chloe Jo will tell you this is true, at least of herself.) In some cultures, including America and most of Europe, black cats are considered harbingers of "bad luck". Frequently they are associated with the occult, witches and black magic. They have become symbols of both Halloween and Friday the 13th.
However, in many countries & cultures it is believed that black cats bring blessings and good luck. In Scotland, black cats are believed to bring prosperity into a home. In Japan, black cats are believed to attract many suitors to its lady owner. In Germany, if a black cat crosses your path from left to right, it is offering good things...but from right to left it is a bad omen.
In England and Australia, it is said that black cats are able to ward off negative forces with their "protective color". Young brides were often given a black cat as a gift of good luck and prosperity.
It is said that early pirates felt if a black cat walked towards you it was very bad luck. But if a black cat walked away from you that was very good luck. They also felt that if a black cat walked onto a ship and then left it abruptly, the ship was doomed to sink.
Early sailors often chose black cats to keep on ships, considering them an asset to attract good fortune. They believed that black cats were essential in keeping them safe and secure on their journeys. Many wives of fisherman also kept black cats at home for these same reasons, believing they would help keep their husband safe at sea.
We happily keep two black cats in our home. I don't know if they keep us safe or secure, but they do keep us entertained. We love them both and believe that we are doubly blessed!