Seeing a Black Cat at Night


P-M was born in China and finsihed his middle school and high school in LA, California. He is currently studying at USC. P-M shared this piece of folklore with me after I asked him whether he know of any interesting folklore when we were chatting after dinner.

The Main Piece:

P-M: Do you know that, if you see a black cat, at night, it means…… it means something bad is gonna happen.

Me: Like a sign for bad luck?

P-M: Yea.

Me: Is there anyway you can avoid the bad luck?

P-M: No, I don’t think so. Or I don’t know of any way you can escape.

Me: Where did you heard of that black cat thing?

P-M: It’s so common in America. Sooooooooo so so so so so common.



Walking at night, cats are considered to be a creature that is connected to some supernatural forces or to the other world in many cultures. Black is also associated with darkness or death. Therefore, the combination of black, and cat, brings the symbol of supernaturality and death together, creating a sign for bad luck. This is especially meaningful when one encounters a black cat at night, a time that has a closer connection with black.


For another version, see Russian Superstition about Black Cats by Ellen Feldman.