There are countless old wives tales and superstitions people believe even in this day and age. One of which that might strike you odd that can be found in the Buffalo area is dried cats in the walls!
“In some European cultures, the custom of placing a dried or desiccated cat inside the walls of a newly constructed home was a sign of good luck and to ward off evil spirits. Immigrants to Buffalo brought this tradition with them; this mummified cat was found in the wall of a 1935 home in the City. X-rays show the animal was intentionally prepared prior to being placed in the wall of the house.” – Buffalo Museum of Science.
In most cases the cats were likely already dead, arranged in manner such as mid attack; tail erect, posed with dried birds and mice. The idea was that this scarecrow like defense would ward off not only vermin but carry an energy around the house to protect from larger threats as well.
Cat’s are known to supposedly have a sixth sense, and people hoped to use this “psychic ability” to find and ward off unwanted spirits. Rooting from Roman folk practices that spread throughout Europe and parts of Australia, these mummified felines could be found in buildings along with shoes and witch bottles. It is also widely believed that animals, cats in particular can sense ghosts and other supernatural elements. They were placed inside walls during new home construction, under rafters in the roots, under floor boards, and even behind chimney stacks in cases of warding off witchcraft.
On a lighter note, cat’s were also seen as a sign of good luck, prosperity, and encouraged fertility! In Ancient Egypt, cats were regularly depicted in religious practices. Several gods and deities were characterized by cat-like heads, representing justice, fertility, and power. Cats were also recognized for protecting Pharaohs as they were famous for killing venomous snakes.
While most people stick to buying burglar alarm systems to protect their homes, mummified pets may be a unique alternative for those looking to secure their home from physical and paranormal threats.