As any cat owner/servant will tell you, cats are special in ways that make them more than mere domesticated pets. Human’s fascination with felines is nothing new. The cat was worshiped in ancient Egypt, feared as an agent of the Devil in early Europe, and celebrated and reviled throughout the Western world as a witch’s familiar, a creature of magic and mischief.
Cats have been associated with a huge variety of folk beliefs, folk magics, and folktales. But did you know about the enormous Cat Sith of Celtic folklore, the Norwegian Forest Cats of the goddess Freya, or the monstrous Yule Cat of Iceland?
Of course, cats prowl through our fairy tales, too. We will quest with “Puss in Boots,” converse with “The White Cat,” observe the ascension of royalty in “The King of Cats,” and more. Sometimes they are kind helpers, sometimes they are dastardly tricksters. Sometimes, the same cat can be both. With a cat, you can never be sure what you’re going to get!
Join Dr. Sara Cleto and Dr. Brittany Warman of the Carterhaugh School of Folklore and the Fantastic as they explore how our fabulous and spoiled house cats have inspired the human imagination.
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