Murdered by the Church, or a brief depiction of the religious horrors
Murdered by the Church, or a brief depiction of the religious horrors of the middle-ages, and how a tyrannical clergy made scapegoats of witches, heretics, and cats to deflect blame from themselves for corruption within the church, repressed European culture for centuries and brought about the plague.
“I have described the triumph of barbarism and religion”
Edward Gibbon – The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Gradually the cat suffered a reversal of fortune. Its non-submissive character and nocturnal habits, its luminous eyes and fur which gave off sparks when stroked, its association with occult practices and rituals of earlier religions all made it seem suspect to those inclined toward superstition. The cat’s well-known fecundity may have been partly responsible. As cats became more commonplace and consequently less valuable, the respect accorded to them began to decline.
A bull from Pope Gregory IX in 1233 denouncing black cats as agents of the devil began a systematic persecution. Over the next century, successive papal decrees intensified the onslaught and the domestic cat in Europe eventually became threatened with extinction.