Cats in Celtic Mythology

I always had a cat in the home  whilst growing up. To me, a house is not a home until it as a furry little beast curled up by the fire . They are beautiful, independent and powerful. We have two cats here at Celtic Valley ceramics. They are my inspiration for all our cat tiles.

Detail taken from the illustrations from the book of Kells

Cats in Celtic Mythology,

Celtic Cat Tile in Olive Glaze

Cats have an interesting place in Celtic legends, both loved and hated. They have always been associated with magic.
Cat Sidhe is a fairy creature from Celtic mythology, said to resemble a large black cat with a white spot on its breast. On the night of Samhain (our Halloween), everyone was to leave a saucer of milk for the cait sidhe. When the cait sidhe came by your house, he would either leave blessings as a thank you for the treat or curse your cows because you didn’t leave him the treat.

It  was believed that the Cat Sìdhe was a witch that could transform voluntarily into its cat form eight times.
If one of these witches chose to go back into their cat form for the ninth time, they would remain a cat for the rest of their lives. This is were the idea of a cat having nine lives originated. Cats were also believed to predict the weather.When a cat washes its face ,rain will follow, if it walks away from a fire,a storm is brewing.
The cat was also believed to be a creature of the Goddess and was often perceived as somehow ‘unholy.’ It was considered unlucky to see a cat as the first animal of the year unless you were a MacIntosh or of the clan Cattan (whose chieftain is called The Great Cat).
The goddess Brighid, who is known in Irish tradition as ‘the daughter of the bear,’ had a cat as a companion. In Welsh tradition the goddess Ceridwen in her manifestation as the great sow Henwen gives birth to a wolf cub, an eagle, a bee and a kitten.
During the middle ages the church demonised the cat due to its association with the old gods and it is probably safe to say that mosts of these tales were invented by the church.

 
They were trying to establish Christianity as the only religion and felt compelled to destroy all remnants of other cultures. The Church began a killing spree which greatly depleted the cat population causing the rat population to soar and so aided the spread of the plague.
Cats were also believed to predict the weather.When a cat washes its face ,rain will follow, if it walks away from a fire,a storm is brewing.

Lover or hater of cats, you would have to admit they are truly beautiful and mysterious creatures. We feel our little celtic cat will brings you nothing but happiness

Playful Kitties Celtic Clock
Bas Relief celtic Cat Trinket bax in Apple Jade green Glaze

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