Cats have a special place in the human psyche.
For many thousands of years, they have been worshipped, feared, coveted and, for a while in the middle ages, assumed to be witches in disguise.
Nobody can deny the significance of the symbol of the cat throughout history, an importance which holds still.
But what does it mean when you open your door and find yourself greeted by a black cat?
Black Cats & Luck
Black cats have often been seen as bringers of either good or bad luck, depending on the situation.
In the US, a black cat crossing your path can bring bad luck, whereas in the UK and Europe it is often seen as the opposite.
A Black Cat At The Door
But for this specific circumstance, we can look to Scottish folklore.
It is a common belief in Scotland and parts of northern England that finding a black cat at the door in the morning is a sign of approaching good fortune, especially when it comes to money.
This belief has been around for a long time and is believed to have originated in dock towns where the wives of men at sea would try to guarantee their safety by getting a black cat.
Having one turn up at the door meant that he would be coming home – hopefully with the riches of the oceans in tow.
Usually, these cats would be taken in and looked after, serving as a talisman for the safety of the sailors.
This was very important for the people at the time, sea professions being so dangerous to life and limb.
Of course, unless you have a family member at sea, you might not think that this means much at all to you.
But you could be wrong, as many people to this day describe uncanny experiences with a black cat at the door.
Turning the cat away is almost universally seen as a terrible move.
When a black cat walks away from you, it takes all good luck with it.
Inviting a black cat into your home can have the opposite effect, bringing you good fortune in money and love, as well as being a healing presence in the home.
It was custom in much of Europe to provide a black cat for those who were deathly ill as a way to help the healing process.
It may even have worked, although doctors today say this is more likely to do with the calming presence of the animal rather than any other means.
Regardless of what you believe, one thing is universal when it comes to the meaning of a black cat at your door:
Whatever you do, treat the cat well.
After all, who wants to tempt a bad omen?