Cats Indicating the Place Where the Dead Have Gone, Birds and Beasts in Welsh folklore and mythology, a tale from Erbistock Wales
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Category: Birds and Beasts
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Title: Cats Indicating the Place Where the Dead Have Gone


A singular superstition connected with cats is the supposition that they indicate the place to which the dead have gone by ascending or descending trees immediately after the death of a person. The Rev. P. W. Sparling, Rector of Erbistock, informed me that one day a parishioner met him, and told him that his brother, who had lately died, was in hell, and that he wished the Rector to get him out. Mr. Sparling asked him how he knew where his brother was, and in answer the man said that he knew, because he had seen his brother in the form of a white cat descend a tree immediately after his death. On further inquiry, the man stated that since the cat came down the tree, it was a sign that his brother had gone down to hell; but had the cat gone up the tree, it would have shown that he had gone up to heaven. I have heard it stated, but by whom I have forgotten, that if a black cat leaves a house where a person dies, immediately after that person’s death, it shows he has gone to the bad place; but if a white cat, that he has gone to heaven.


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