Thursday, November 19, 2009

For decades, one of the many superstitions plaguing us, is that of stopping in our tracks if a cat runs across the street. It is believed that, if you pass through the road, just after a cat has crossed it, it'll bring severe bad luck & may result in fatal accidents. Everyday, on some road or the other, you'll find superstitious drivers waiting in the middle of the road, because of a scampering feline. They'll wait for some other non-suspecting vehicle to pass before them, thus nullifying the effect of the curse!

Well, all superstitions originate because of some reason, & this particular superstition too has a reason behind it. The story goes, that in Britain, sometime in the 1800s, every single house on every single street, owned a cat. In those days, the concept of family planning not being in vogue, every household had a large brood of kids. The kids spent their time playing with their pet cat. Now, cats being highly independent(sometimes bordering on disinterested,disobedient,disloyal traits) creatures, would often run out of the houses into the streets. The kids too, would follow. This obviously led to a large number of accidents. The vehicles on the streets, would often end up killing a poor-little-innocent child in search of his not so poor-liitle-innocent pet cat.

To put a stop to these accidents, a law was passed, that said, each vehicle should immediately stop in their tracks if they see a cat on the road, for it would mean that some children would definitely not be far behind. As time passed, the people outgrew their fascination for cats. The number of cat-owning households fell. Kids, stopped running out into the streets after their cats. Accidents stopped. The law was eventually forgotten & discarded. But, the one thing still continued. Vehicles still stopped in their tracks, if a cat crossed their path. Slowly, the noble cause behind the stopping-of-cars was compleetly wiped off from memory, & all that remained was, a stupid old superstition!!

So, the next time you stop your car on seeing a cat cross your path, remember this story. And don't forget to catch a glimpse of the cat's face. It just might be having a sniggering laugh at your expense!!