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Is a black cat with white feet really bad luck?

I was out for a walk a couple of days ago, and a black cat crossed my path.

I am not superstitious, so I did not immediately turn around, go home and hide under the bed for the rest of the day. (I only hid under the bed for a couple of hours.)

It did, however, get me thinking (always a dangerous thing) about the superstition about a black cat crossing your path, and how it’s supposed to be bad luck.

First off, how black is black? The cat I saw was almost completely black, but it did have two white paws. Does that take away the bad luck entirely, or does it mean my hands will have good luck (it was the two front paws), or does it mean I’ll only have bad luck for the majority of the day?

And what if the reverse was true? What if a cat that was mainly another colour, but had some black in its fur, was involved?

What happens if the cat crosses your path, stops, and goes back the way it came from? Does that double the bad luck because it crossed your path twice, or does the fact it reversed its path also reverse the bad luck?

I suppose in a high-level way of thinking you could argue that since the state of the universe after the two crossings was exactly the same as before them (at least in terms of the universe consisting of me and the cat), then the state of my luck would also be exactly the same.

Another case I wondered about (I told you it was dangerous when I started thinking) was if two people are walking together. One of them is superstitious, the other is not.

As they walk along the sidewalk, the superstitious person looks down at their cellphone just as a totally black cat crosses their path. The other person sees the black cat cross the sidewalk, but says nothing to the superstitious one.

Does that mean bad luck, since the superstitious person is unaware the black cat crossed her path?

I either need to start taking longer walks to clear my head, or shorter ones, so I don’t find things to think about.


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