Things That Go Bump In The Night – Cat Sith

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Crochet Cat SithIn addition to my Things That Go Bump In The Night series, I am participating in The Snarkology Halloween Blog Hop.  Like this post?  Leave a comment below before midnight Pacific Daylight Time of October 31st to be entered into a drawing for a crochet Cat Sith of your own.  Visit the other blogs listed below for other giveaway!

“Who are you?”

The malk bowed his head once. “A faithful servant of the Queen of Air and Darkness. I am most often called Sith.”

“Heh,” I said. “Where’s your red lightsaber?”

Sith’s golden eyes narrowed.  “When first your kind began scrawling knowledge upon stone and clay, my name was ancient. Walk carefully around it.”

“Just trying to brighten the conversation with humor, Sithy. You need to cheer up.”

Sith’s tail twitched again. “Slicing your spine into coasters would cheer me. May I?”

“Gotta go with ‘no’ on that one,” I said. Then I blinked. “Wait. You’re… Cat Sith. The Cat Sith?”

– Cold Days by Jim Butcher

Cat Sith
Cat Sith by John Dickson Batten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Black cats have many myths and legends associated with them, most with negative connotations. They are considered the bringers of bad luck or witch’s familiars or an incarnation of the devil.  To have one cross your path is considered an ill omen. I want to talk about a black cat this week.  But not any ordinary, unlucky black cat.  This black cat is the Stealer of Souls: Cat Sith.

Cat Sith is not a familiar, but, depending on the legend, either a fairy creature or a transformed witch. He is described as being a black cat the size of a dog. He is distinguished from other black cats by a white marking on his chest. He prefers to be seen back arched and hissing. It is possible that his legend has origins in the Scottish Wildcat  or the Kellas Cat. The Kellas Cat was also considered to be a myth until a specimen was obtained in 1980.

As a fairy, Cat Sith had a reputation for stealing the souls of the dead before the gods were able to retrieve them. Fires in the same room as the body were forbidden, lest Cat Sith be attracted to their warmth.  Games were played, catnip offered, riddles told, and songs sung to distract Cat Sith from the corpse.  If the technology existed then, they would probably have used laser pointers.

Cat Sith also was said to visit homes during Samhain. People would leave a saucer of milk outside, much like children leave cookies for Santa Claus.  He would bless the house of people who left out an offering.  If they neglected to leave anything, he would curse their cows to not produce milk.

Alternate legends about Cat Sith proclaimed that he was a witch transformed into a cat. This witch had the ability to shapeshift eight times.  If the witch chose to transform a ninth time, they would remain a cat.

Witch, fairy, familiar, or even plain old house cat, I will leave out a saucer of milk for Cat Sith this Halloween.

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26 Replies to “Things That Go Bump In The Night – Cat Sith

  1. If I leave a saucer of milk out my black cat- Shera – Princess of Power – will drink it. I’ve had a few black cats and I make sure on Halloween – they are indoors. SIlly superstitions.

  2. Couldn’t find the Like button but it doesn’t matter. I own all of Jim Butcher’s books and I have yet to read the last three…I was waiting till I can get Skin Game in paperback and then reread from number one. This little piece from Cold Case is tantalizing. My strengthen my resolve not to start reading them yet, my pile of To Be Read books must dwindle and that means not deviating from my path.

  3. But you need to read them ASAP so I can discuss them with you! (Shoves my own “to read” pile behind a large book case.)

    Thanks for stopping by.

  4. What a fun post! My cat’s not talking one way or another. she’s sitting in the corner waiting for better food. Maybe I better leave her a saucer of milk, just in case she has some Sith in her

  5. I had a awesome black cat, named Zappa, for over 18 years and I kept him inside on Halloween. He’d sit in the window and hiss at people because he blamed them. It was funny. How I miss that cat!

  6. I’ve heard that black cats are good luck, but it was harder to find specific information about that. Could you point me to some examples?

    Thanks for stopping by.

  7. I have always loved black cats and have never perceived them as bad luck. They have always brought me love. Diamond and Topaz just recently passed away and they were both all black. I now have Onyx. He’s a tux.

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