At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Wednesday 27 May 2015


I like cats.  I thought, therefore, I'd put in a few items of folklore about this interesting animal.

Cats are sometimes referred to as domestic, but only to a limited extent.  If it dislikes your ménage and happens to have discovered a more suitable household, thither it will fare and establish itself.  They don't like moving house and will sometimes trek back to their old abode if you move.  The cat was revered in Ancient Egypt and in the Egyptian language - no longer spoken, for they speak Arabic in Egypt today - it was called miaow.  The cat may have first started to interact with people in China.  It looks as though this started out as a kind of symbiosis with humans and progressed from there.

However, some people do not like cats and are actually wary of them.  A cat will look at you as though he is summing you up and probably is.  If you care for a cat that is not your own, it will sometimes leave a tasty mouse on your doorstep as repayment.

Some people say if a black cat crosses your path, it means good luck.  Some people say it means bad luck.  Black cats were sometimes thought to be the familiars of witches.  They are disliked in parts of the United States and also in Belgium and Spain.  If you pay money for a cat, it is said it will not be a good mouser.  If a cat is seen washing itself, bad weather is coming.  If a cat sneezes, it will rain.  A peculiarly American superstition is that, if a cat washes in the doorway, a clergyman will arrive.  If a cat appears next to the bride during a wedding, it is taken as a good omen.

It is said that a cat has nine lives.  This is probably because cats often fall from high places and survive.  Pope Benedict XVI had a special liking for cats and would talk to the stray cats of Rome.  Perhaps he still does since his retirement.

Some people feel that cats do not show affection, but what they are really doing is blaming the cat for not being a dog.  Cats do not show affection in the way dogs do, for they are different animals and show affection differently.  I feel cars need to be appreciated more.

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