Cat lovers, be warned. The history of cats in the Middle Ages is gruesome. Medieval theories about cats claimed that they were cruel creatures that were in league with the Devil and witches. These beliefs were used to justify unimaginably cruel torture, even worse than the cat howling of the “cat piano.”
Cat legends and myths claimed that heretics worshipped cats and kissed them below the tail. Rumors flew that witches could transform into cats to bite and scratch babies. Even the pope answered the questions “are cats the Devil?” and “are cats demonic creatures?” with a resounding yes, setting off centuries of cat slaughter.
The cruel torture methods included cat burning, throwing cats from towers, and tying rockets to the backs of cats. The fear of black cats meant that they were thrown into barrels and beaten like piñatas or executed like witches. Even now, black cats are less likely to be adopted. The dark history of European cat torture is a reminder of how cruel humans can be.