It is not correct to say that cats were eradicated during the Middle Ages. This period of history was marked by a strong repression of cats, which were often associated with witchcraft and superstitious beliefs. Cats were considered magical animals and were often persecuted and killed by believers who saw them as instruments of the devil. This crackdown took place in many places in Europe, but the cats continued to be present in other parts of the world, such as Africa and Asia.
It is important to note that the suppression of cats during the Middle Ages did not result in their complete eradication, but rather led to a decrease in their numbers and a change in their social status. Cats became less common animals in homes and were mainly used to hunt mice and rats in farms and warehouses. Over the following centuries attitudes towards cats evolved and they became more and more popular as pets.
Pope Gregory IX issues document against cats
Pope Gregory IX, who reigned from 1227 to 1241, contributed to the suppression of cats during the Middle Ages by publishing a document called "Vox in Rama" (The Voice of Ramah), in which he accused cats of being instruments of the devil and witchcraft. According to Pope Gregory IX, cats were often used by witches to accomplish their misdeeds and to pervert the minds of men.
Accordingly, Pope Gregory IX called for the persecution and destruction of all cats, whether domestic or feral. This decision contributed to the suppression of cats during the Middle Ages.
Consequences of the repression of cats during the Middle Ages
The suppression of cats during the Middle Ages had several important consequences. First, it led to a decrease in their numbers and a change in their social status. Cats were less and less present in homes and were mainly used to hunt mice and rats in farms and warehouses.
In addition, the suppression of cats contributed to the proliferation of mice and rats, which caused serious damage to crops and grain stocks. These pests were the cause of several epidemics of bubonic plague, which claimed millions of victims in Europe during the Middle Ages.
Finally, the repression of cats had an impact on the beliefs and superstitions of the time. Cats were often associated with witchcraft and magical practices, and their suppression helped to reinforce the prejudices and stereotypes associated with these beliefs.
Black cats and witchcraft
The association of black cats with witches and magic dates back to ancient times, where cats were often seen as magical and mysterious animals. According to some beliefs, black cats had supernatural powers and could be used by witches to accomplish their misdeeds.
This superstition about black cats has lasted a long time, there were still a lot of preconceptions only a few decades ago about these animals.
It is important to note that this association between black cats and witchcraft is not based on scientific fact and has no real basis. Black cats are simply pets like any other, and have no magical or supernatural powers. This association is mainly due to superstitious beliefs and persistent stereotypes.
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